Massive Covid milestone as 300,000 doses of the AstraZenaca vaccine land in Australia to kickstart national rollout – here’s when you’ll get the jabScott Morrison says a new milestone has been achieved in the Covid-19 rollout300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine landed in Sydney on SundayTherapeutic Goods Administration will now batch test for quality standardsAustralia started its vaccine program last week with first jabs of Pfizer vaccine

Scott Morrison says a new milestone has been achieved in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout with 300,000 doses of the AstraZenaca version having landed in Sydney on Sunday.

The first doses of this vaccine have arrived from overseas ahead of 50 million doses being manufactured by CSL in Australia.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration will now batch test the vaccines to ensure they meet Australia’s strict quality standards.

Scott Morrison has announced a Covid-19 milestone, as 300,000 doses of the AstraZenaca version land in Sydney on Sunday

‘This is the next step as we ramp up the vaccine rollout,’ the prime minister said in a statement.

Most Australians will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine with the rollout due to commence from March 8, subject to the TGA’s testing process.

‘Australia is in a unique position because importantly this vaccine gives us the ability to manufacture onshore’ Mr Morrison said.

‘Every Australian who wishes to be vaccinated will be able to receive a vaccine this year.’

The Therapeutic Goods Administration will now batch test the vaccines to ensure they meet Australia’s strict quality standards

Australia started its vaccine program last week with the first injections of the Pfizer vaccine.

Almost 30,000 Australians had been vaccinated since last Monday, including 8110 aged care and disability residents throughout 117 care facilities.

The government is rolling out a second $31 million public information campaign with the COVID-19 vaccination program now fully underway.

Almost 30,000 Australians had been vaccinated since last Monday, including 8110 aged care and disability residents throughout 117 care facilities

‘Both the state and territory teams alongside the aged care in-reach teams are ramping up their operations, with more vaccines being distributed across the country in the next week,’ Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

When will vaccines be available? 

It depends on your age, health and job. First in line are the elderly, vulnerable, frontline health workers, hotel quarantine staff, as well as aged and disability workers and residents. That process has already begun.

Other Australians over the age of 16 will be then be ranked by health risk to determine when they get the jab, with those more vulnerable prioritised. 

Health Department boss Brendan Murphy has said it’s unlikely people will get to pick if they get the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, as it depends on their profile and category of risk.

The government wants the vaccine rollout to be complete by the end of October.

 

The government’s initial advertising campaign launched in January focused on informing the Australian community about the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s world-leading independent approval process.

‘The second round builds on these safety messages and informs the community about Phase 1a of the vaccination program rollout, which prioritises those who are the most at risk of serious illness from the virus,’ Mr Hunt said.

‘The advertising is important, so people understand how the vaccination program is operating, how they can find out when it will be their turn and answer any questions they have about the vaccines.’

Hotel quarantine, border and frontline health workers started receiving vaccinations this week, but the government has stressed it isn’t mandatory. 

Mr Morrison said federal and state health officers were monitoring whether to make vaccinations compulsory for some workers.

‘Should that be necessary, we would seek to do that on a nationally consistent basis exercised through consistent public health orders,’ he said. 

A flying squad of 500 nurse immunisers will be dispatched around the nation to vaccinate aged care and disability residents who are in the initial phase.

Hubs at major hospitals will also be ground zero for the Pfizer drug, which is first cab off the rank.

As the program expands, the extensive network of general practices and pharmacies will join the effort – with over 4,6000 practices already been given approval to administer the jab. 

Everything Aussies need to know about the vaccine roll out  

* What about Australians under the age of 16?

The Pfizer vaccination approval does not cover people under the age of 16, but it has no upper age limit. The medical regulator says the benefits of the vaccination for people over the age of 85, or those who are frail, should be weighed against potential risk of even a mild response.

Age limits for the AstraZeneca vaccination will be outlined in the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s approval.

* How many do we get?

Both vaccines are two doses – so Australians will get two at least 21 days apart. They will need to be from the same company.

* Where will they be administered?

General practitioners and pharmacies have put their hand up to be involved, and there’s expected to be pop-up clinics at current COVID-19 testing centres and hospitals.

* How can Australians prove they’ve been vaccinated?

Jabs will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register. Certificates proving vaccinations will then be available either digitally or in hard copy. The government says this might be needed for interstate and overseas travel.

* How many vaccines has Australia ordered?

Australia has secured more than 150 million doses of various vaccines, including almost 54 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the vast majority to be manufactured in Melbourne. As well as more than 51 million from Novavax.

WHICH VACCINES AUSTRALIA HAS SECURED:

Pfizer:

20 million doses – enough to vaccinate 10 million Australians

Novavax:

Australia has ordered 51 million doses but it is still in the trial phase

University of Oxford:

53.8 million doses

COVAX Facility

The Australian Government has joined the COVAX Facility as part of a global effort to support rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This participation enables us to purchase vaccine doses for Australia as they become available

This includes the Moderna vaccine, CureVac, Inovio and others

University of Queensland:

Australia had ordered 51 million doses. However, the deal has been scrapped after trial participants returned false positive results for HIV

 

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