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Update on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccine National Rollout strategy

The Australian Government has a strategy to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to everyone living in Australia as soon as they are available.

A staged rollout of the vaccine is expected to commence in February 2021.
Healthcare professionals have an important role in discussing and delivering vaccination against COVID-19 with their patients.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available from early mid-February this year. Doses of this vaccine will be available through 30 to 50 hubs at specific hospital sites across urban and rural Australia.

Approval of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated for the coming months.

Both vaccines will progressively be distributed through an expanded number of sites, including general practice clinics, existing Commonwealth GP respiratory clinics, state-run vaccination clinics and pharmacies.

The vaccine rollout roadmap has determined the phases of vaccination for priority groups. They are:

Phase 1a
– Quarantine and border workers
– Frontline at-risk health care workers
– Residential aged care and disability care staff
– Residential aged care and disability care residents.

Phase 1b
Adults over 70 years
– All other health care workers
– Begin vaccinating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
– Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability
– Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing.

Phase 2a
– Adults over 50 years
– Continue vaccinating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
– Other critical and high risk workers.

Phase 2b
– Balance of adult population
– Catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases.

Phase 3
– People under 18 years if recommended

Frontline health care workers in phase 1a are those at the greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19.

This includes:
– GP Respiratory Clinics
– COVID-19 testing facilities
– ambulance staff
– paramedics
– ICU staff
– emergency department staff
– clinical and ancillary support staff.

Other health care workers, including GPs, will be included for vaccination for phase 1b; as soon as additional doses are available.

The Department of Health is committed to providing you timely information as it becomes available. Learn more at the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines website and subscribe to the COVID-19 Vaccines Update.

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