COVID-19 update

Update on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines

The Australian Government has announced a staged rollout of the vaccine, which 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

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