Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that Australia is on track to roll out its first vaccinations in March 2021.
Speaking to the press on Thursday morning, Hunt said the first Australians to be vaccinated against the coronavirus will be health workers and aged care residents.
“We are on track for decisions with the early vaccines by the end of January,” he told reporters on Wednesday, SBS reports.
“We are on track for first vaccinations, beginning with our health workers and our aged care residents, subject to approvals in March.”
In the press conference on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also reassured Australians that their first priority “is that [the vaccine] be safe”.
“It must be safe [for] Australians and that is what they would expect of us. So the vaccination policy has been established, it has been agreed by cabinets and it has also been endorsed by the National Cabinet,” he said, The Guardian reports.
The announcement comes after the United Kingdom on Wednesday became the first country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine in question is from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and will be rolled out to vulnerable groups from next week, SBS reports.
The Australian Government has signed on for five vaccine programs, taking the nation’s vaccine investment total to more than $3.7 billion. These include vaccines from Pfizer, University of Queensland, University of Oxford, Novavax and Covax Facility. Australia has secured 10 million units of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 51 million of the University of Queensland/CSL vaccine, 30 million of the University of Oxford/CSL vaccine, 40 million of the Novavax vaccine and over 25 million units of the newly-approved Covax Facility vaccine.
You can read more about these different vaccine programs here.
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