Here’s Everything We Now Know About Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
The Pfizer vaccine rollout will begin next month.
The rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia will begin next month, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison who revealed in a press conference today that high-priority groups are expected to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination in “mid-to-late-February”.
Bringing the vaccine rollout forward from March, Morrison said the vaccination of the Australian population will occur in five stages, and that the first stage is “the most necessary ring of containment and protection for the Australian population”.
Quarantine and border officials, frontline health workers, aged care and disability care workers, and residents in aged and disability care, will be vaccinated first. The second group will be elderly Australians (no specific age range was given) and Indigenous Australians over the age of 55. Health Minister Greg Hunt noted that the government is currently working with the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector on a vaccination plan for remote Indigenous communities.
#BREAKING: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia's coronavirus vaccine rollout could begin in mid-to-late February.
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) January 7, 2021
The rest of the details on how groups are prioritised was not made definitive as the plans are still being finalised, but the last group who will be prioritised are non-immunocompromised children, as they are the least at risk from the virus.
While logistics are still being worked out, the Hunt also guaranteed that the vaccine will be free and no one should be charged consultation fees for receiving one saying, “We can guarantee that the vaccine will be free and it will be delivered free. We are working with the medical bodies around how that will be achieved but we do not want the cost to be any barrier to the delivery of the vaccine.”
Federal Health Department Secretary Professor Brendan Murphy explained that 30 to 50 ‘vaccination hubs’ will be set up around the country to provide people with the vaccine. Where these hubs will be located will be left to the discretion of state and territory governments.
At the moment, the Prime Minister has said the vaccine will be voluntary, but plans are still being finalised.
For up to date information on COVID-19, please regularly check the Department of Health’s Health Alerts page.
(Photography: Heather Hazzan / SELF Magazine)
Merryana Salem is a proud Wonnarua and Lebanese–Australian critic, teacher, researcher and podcaster on most social media as @akajustmerry. If you want, check out her podcast, GayV Club where she gushes about LGBT rep in media with her best friend. Either way, she hopes you ate something nice today.