The National Cabinet met on Thursday 22 April to discuss changes to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy. They have agreed the imperative to get Australians vaccinated as soon as possible, and are recalibrating the vaccine delivery plan to account for recent medical advice on the use of AstraZeneca vaccines.
One of the main adjustments to the plan involves limiting access to the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine will now be available to:
– people eligible in phases 1a and 1b who are aged under 50 years
– residential aged care facility residents
– disability care residents with complex needs
– people in remote and very remote communities (where it is necessary to use one type of vaccine for the entire community)
– quarantine, border and frontline healthcare workers who are not already vaccinated.
Other adjustments to the plan include:
– better utilizing the available stock of AstraZeneca vaccines (by bringing forward access for eligible people in phase 2a)
– increasing access to the Pfizer vaccine (by opening more vaccination sites and improving the deployment plan)
– maximizing the role and abilities of GPs with regard to vaccine deployment (by allocating more doses to GPs and supporting them with more vaccination sites and services).
National Cabinet have also expanded the range of people eligible for vaccination in Phase 2b and have placed additional restrictions on those seeking to enter Australia from high-risk countries.