Australians aged over 70 and critical workers will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine from today.
More than six million people are included in phase 1B of the vaccine rollout, that also includes Indigenous Australians over 55, those with a medical condition or disability, and workers deemed high risk.
About 1000 GP clinics will be able to start vaccinations on Monday after the national medical regulator approved domestic production of the AstraZeneca vaccine by pharmaceutical giant CSL at its two Melbourne sites in Broadmeadows and Parkville.
The approval does not extend to use, however, with the regulator still needing to review batch documents and test to ensure they meet manufacturing standards.
"Obviously we won't be able to vaccinate all six million people (on Monday), or over the coming week, so please be patient," Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.
"At the moment, some general practices will only receive 50 doses a week and they will be prioritising their most elderly and most unwell patients."
Authorities expect CSL to quickly ramp up production to a million doses a week once final approval is granted, Professor Kidd added.
Extreme weather delays vaccine delivery
Most locations in the country will have received vaccines by the end of the weekend, except for parts of NSW affected by extreme weather.
"Vaccine delivery is being affected in Sydney and across multiple regional NSW locations," the department said in a statement on Saturday.
"The Department of Health is working directly with GPs on these issues and we ask for the public's patience and understanding with these unforeseen supply delays."
In the meantime, the rollout of phase 1A is expected to continue for another six to eight weeks until all people in that group have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Prof Kidd also reminded people to have their annual flu shot, which will become available over the coming month.
But importantly he said it is recommended there is a 14-day gap between having the Covid vaccine and the influenza vaccine.
There were just four Covid-19 overseas acquired cases recorded in Australia on Sunday, two in NSW and two in Queensland.
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