Aussies given new vaccine timeline under revamped rollout

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Every Australian could be vaccinated against coronavirus by the end of the year under a revamped vaccine rollout unveiled by the federal government. 

The government has promised that from the start of October, two million Pfizer doses will be available each week, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted the Australian Medical Association as saying. 

Health Minister Greg Hunt said from the end of June, 4.5 million doses in total will be available, which would in the following quarter, increase to seven million. 

Boosted availability of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to ease vaccine hesitancy that emerged following cases of blood clotting in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

An AstraZeneca dose being administered earlier this month in Victoria. Source: Getty
An AstraZeneca dose being administered earlier this month in Victoria. Source: Getty

A young, healthy trainee nurse was one of the latest people to experience blood clots in her lungs after receiving the AstraZeneca jab, which was administered a week prior to Scott Morrison announcing it would not be recommended for people under 50.

AMA president Omar Khorshid expressed optimism that everyone who wanted the Pfizer vaccine could have both doses by Christmas, according to SMH.

"Because two doses of Pfizer are closer together it actually speeds up the rollout, though we have to wait for them to arrive," he said. 

"We could have everyone have both doses by the end of year."

While the latest evidence has shown Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to be more effective in curbing transmission than expected, there were still not enough Australians indicating their intention to get vaccinated. 

At least 80 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated before borders can open without Covid-19 spreading, SMH reported. 

People wait in the recovery area at a vaccination hub in Victoria. Source: Getty
People wait in the recovery area at a vaccination hub in Victoria. Source: Getty

"We’re going to need more people vaccinated than are currently saying they want to," Associate Professor James Wood from the University of NSW told the publication.

"Right now we’re not on target."

Minister Hunt this week faced backlash after suggesting that people over 50 hold off receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, with supply of alternatives scheduled to increase later in the year. 

"Right now, we want to encourage everybody over 50 to be vaccinated as early as possible," he said, before offering a caveat. 

"But we've been very clear that, as supply increases later on in the year, there will be enough vaccine of mRNA vaccines [Pfizer and Moderna] for every Australian."

His comments drew heavy criticism given the country's vaccine rollout is already months behind schedule.

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