Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program is ‘full steam ahead’ and on track to be delivered slightly ahead of schedule in mid Feb.
The rollout, fast-tracked by the Federal Government to begin mid-February, will be conducted in three phases, beginning with 1.4 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech candidate, pending approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), for priority populations, followed by the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine a few weeks later.
Vaccine roll-out will be done in stages ( see the pic for details), with Phase 1a of the roadmap starting with the vaccination of 100,000 frontline healthcare workers, 318,000 aged care and disability care staff and 190,000 residents, along with 70,000 quarantine and border workers.
Administration to priority groups will initially take place through vaccination hubs, set up across 30–50 hospital sites in metro and regional areas, as well as disability and aged care facilities.
This will then expand to more than 1000 points of distribution, including larger GP-led respiratory clinics, general practices, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services, and state vaccination clinics.
What is going to be really important is that … there’ll be a Pfizer/BioNTech clinic, there’ll be an AstraZeneca clinic and Novavax clinics and so on..
According to RACGP president Dr Price, ‘So it’s not like going shopping where you can choose your vaccine. It’s going to be what you can get, where you can get it.’