Vaccine Operations Centre – Weekly Operational Update 3 May 2021

Department of Health

2,260,615 vaccinations have been completed as increasing supplies of vaccine are delivered to more than 5165 sites across the country.

As of today, 4,086,946 doses of vaccine have been delivered to those sites by the Australian Government, with 3,601,029 doses available for use.

The Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) plays a lead role in the vaccination rollout. It is working in close partnership with the States, Territories and the primary care sector to safely, securely and efficiently store, transport, deliver and administer COVID-19 vaccines across Australia, in support of Phase 1a and 1b of the rollout. From today, that also includes support for those aged 50 and over in Phase 2a.

Operations Coordinator of the VOC, Commodore Eric Young, CSC, RAN, said: “Last week, despite a short week in most states due the ANZAC day public holiday, more than 320,000 doses of vaccine were administered, which is outstanding.

“This week, we continue to implement the recent direction from National Cabinet, predominantly limiting the use of the Pfizer vaccine to those under 50, with a focus on ensuring all eligible Australians know how and where to access a vaccine.

“And every day, we are focussed on ensuring the vaccines we have, are available across the country, where and when they are needed, to protect our most vulnerable Australians.”

To implement the direction from National Cabinet, the VOC is working in close partnership with the Commonwealth, States, Territories and the primary care sector, focussed on three key elements:

  • Firstly, the Eligibility Checker, available at health.gov.au is being progressively updated, so that everyone in an eligible Phase 1 cohort will know how and where to access a COVID vaccine. This includes finalising Pfizer locations for those under the age of 50, in partnership with the States and Territories. In the meantime, States and Territories will continue to work directly with the relevant sectors to manage bookings for Pfizer clinics.
  • Secondly, AstraZeneca doses are being re-allocated to enable the bringing forward of those aged 50 and over in Phase 2b from today for General Practice-led Respiratory Clinics (GPRC) and most State Clinics and 17 May for General Practices (GP). However, we have already had more than 500 GPs who have registered interest to commence 50 and over vaccinations early and will be commencing this week.
  • Finally, supporting the establishment of additional Pfizer hubs and vaccination sites through training, ordering, and site readiness, as the number of Pfizer doses increases.

Supplying and producing the vaccine

Last week, 173,600 doses of Pfizer and 707,300 doses of AstraZeneca were released. In addition, over the coming days, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will conduct sample testing of 351,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine which arrived in Australia today and 736,900 doses of AstraZeneca produced onshore by CSL, prior to approving the vaccines for distribution.

Distributing the vaccine

Last week, two and a half thousand vaccine deliveries were made across the country, distributing nearly 550,000 doses of vaccine. This week, another half a million doses of vaccine will be distributed across Australia. This number will increase over the coming weeks as the supply of vaccines increases.

  • Ordering and Delivery. 99.9% of orders were completed last week with seven of 5000 finalised today. We continue to work with clinics and delivery sites to implement ongoing and positive improvements in the ordering system and certainty around orders placed.
  • Consumables. All consumables were delivered last week to support administering of vaccines this week.
  • Australia’s assistance to the Pacific. The VOC continues to work closely with the Departments of Health, Defence and Foreign Affairs and Trade supporting vaccine supply to pacific partners in need, and have made 38 thousand doses available for distribution to the Pacific.
  • Cold chain. The VOC continues to work closely with stakeholders to handle cold chain queries. A comprehensive cold chain management and investigation process is in place to ensure the safety of the vaccine. Where a site is affected, clear guidance is provided in relation to the continued use of the vaccine, or the need to be returned, including replacement of any vaccines.

Administering the vaccine

We have 4361 General Practices, and 133 GPRCs and 147 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) on board this week, along with 500 State and Territory sites, taking the total number of vaccination sites across the country to 5141.

Last week, more than 320,000 doses were administered, despite a short week in most states due to the ANZAC day public holiday, with 2,260,615 total doses of vaccine now administered. Analysis of the data demonstrates an ongoing weekday increase in doses administered over the last three weeks. With phase 2a opening up to those 50 and over from today, we expect an ongoing increase in the doses administered over the coming weeks.

With our vaccine workforce service providers, we continue to focus on those most at risk in our Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF), and have now completed first dose visits to 1656 facilities and 1088 second dose visits. We are also ramping up our visits to disability residents with complex needs who require in-reach services.

The VOC remains focussed on supporting vaccinations for our most vulnerable Australians, every single day.

About the Vaccine Operations Centre

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