BIG change to Pfizer rollout - new age group eligible

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National Cabinet has agreed to expand the Pfizer vaccine rollout to 16 to 39-year-olds.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the media on Thursday afternoon, confirming an additional 8.6 million Australians will be eligible for Pfizer at the end of the month.

“We agreed today and the cabinet met today to affirm that we will be moving to opening up to 16 to 39 -year-olds for the balance of the program, and intend that to commence on 30 August,” he said.

“The question is usually about 20 to 39 -year-olds but we decided to go all the way through to the 16 to 39s.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, August 18, 2021. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the Pfizer vaccine rollout has been opened up to 16 to 39-year-olds. Source: AAP

When 16 to 39-year-olds can book Pfizer appointments

Mr Morrison urged anyone in this age bracket not to book an appointment yet.

“I want to stress, do not make a booking yet. We will advise when bookings can be made.”

“It isn't today. Not today. We will advise when the time will come over the course of the next week.”

Until now, Australians under 40 have been ineligible to receive the Pfizer jab but have been able to access AstraZeneca with permission from their GP.

It comes after people aged 16 to 39 living in 12 Sydney virus hot spots were given priority access to 530,000 Pfizer doses.

A healthcare Worker hands in surgical gloves pulling COVID-19 vaccine liquid from vial to vaccinate a patient. Source: Getty Images
An additional 8.6 million Australians will be eligible for the Pfizer jab at the end of the month. Source: Getty Images

Children over 12 next in line for jab

The Prime Minister also flagged a plan to vaccinate children over 12 was "imminent".

"I just want to assure particularly parents, vaccinating children is something we take really seriously and we do it very carefully," he said. 

Mr Morrison said he would have more to say after National Cabinet receives interim ATAGI advice. 

PM agrees NSW won't get back to zero

Mr Morrison has described the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, as being "realistic" for abandoning the zero case strategy.

He claims it was never Australia's goal to not have a single case of Covid-19. 

"What we are seeking to achieve is cases minimised as far as possible, preferably to zero that are infectious in the community," he said. 

"I think the premier is being very realistic about what the opportunity to do that in NSW is, given the status of the serious Delta outbreak that we are seeing there."

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