First batch of 80,000 Pfizer doses on its way to Australia.
Australians will be getting their first jabs of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in coming days, with the Government confirming the shipment is on its way from Europe.
The 80,000 doses will be enough to vaccinate about 40,000 people, given each person needs two jabs about three weeks apart.
Front line workers and the elderly are first in line to get the jab, followed by people with underlying medical conditions and disabilities.
A domestic manufacturing firm – CSL – is already preparing to create 50 million of a second vaccine from AstraZeneca, which is expected to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration “very soon”.
Health Minister Greg Hunt would not say exactly what day the Pfizer vaccines would arrive this week for security reasons, given the “highly competitive global world”.
There were concerns earlier this year over whether the European Union would block vaccines from being shipped to Australia, with many member countries yet to receive their agreed upon stock.
“We have said that the vaccine roll-out would commence in late February and I can confirm that the vaccine roll-out is on track,” Mr Hunt said.
“The TGA will ensure the numbers are correct, that they haven’t had any in-flight actions that damaged quality, such as a loss of temperature. They will look to see that all of the vials are intact and haven’t had seals broken. They will also do testing as part of that.”
The Federal Opposition has lashed the Government for its lag in getting the vaccines to rollout in Australia, after 90 countries have already given millions of jabs to their citizens.
The vaccine program is expected to be completed in October, when everyone who wants the vaccine will have been given access to it.
It will not be mandatory, but Qantas has already signalled it will require passengers to have proof of vaccination before flying internationally.
Further Perth news on SoPerth.com.au.