During a national COVID-19 update, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly revealed that most Aussies will receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine next month.
Last week, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines would be arriving on Aussie shores in March. However, due to logistical challenges, Professor Paul Kelly has now revealed that this supply may be inhibited, meaning that the majority of national stores will be made of the UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine. Although a change of plan, this has pushed forward the arrival of Australia’s first COVID-19 vaccine by a month.
“We know that the Pfizer vaccine is the one that will have the most experience around the world, [because] it was the first to get the emergency use authorisation in the US, UK and other places,” he stated during the conference.
“[It] is being made right now in Melbourne and it is well advanced, so we will be getting large supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine. That is the one we will have available for most people during the year,” Professor Kelly informed press about the vaccine.
Australia’s #COVID19 Vaccine National Roll-out Strategy outlines:
• priority populations for vaccination, and the phases in which vaccines will be provided in Australia
• details for how vaccines will be provided
• initial locations https://t.co/fMqbIzka8l pic.twitter.com/ZcW1Vbcdjs
— Australian Government Department of Health (@healthgovau) January 8, 2021
Australia has secured 53.8 million doses of AstraZeneca and 10 million of Pfizer, with the latter hoping to be approved by the end of January. It is predicted that the vaccine rollout would be carried out over 5 weeks, earlier than the Government expected.
Those in the first priority group – quarantine and border workers, frontline health workers, aged care and disability care staff and aged care and disability residents -will get the Pfizer vaccine.
— Katie Burgess (@katie_b_burgess) January 7, 2021