Coronavirus: Australia’s vaccine rollout to begin on Monday
After a long wait, Australias NASA-like COVID-19 vaccine rollout will begin on Monday. The first batch of Pfizer doses arrived in Sydney earlier this week, with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt triumphantly announcing that “the eagle has landed”.
On the heels of its arrival, the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) granted provisional approval to AstraZeneca Pty Ltd for its coronavirus jab.
Today, Mr Hunt and Health Department boss and former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy laid out the first places the vaccine will be administered across Australia next week.
“This is a really, really exciting time. We are about to start the single biggest, and most complex, vaccination task in the history of this nation,” Professor Murphy told reporters.
Vaccinating against COVID-19 is the easiest way for Australians to get their normal lives back, but millions are hesitant to get the jab.
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“There are so many players involved and there’s so much planning. We are so extraordinarily grateful in the Commonwealth to our partners in the states and territories, the vaccination workforce, the logistics and data providers, the aged care operators, who have been asked to do so much so quickly, GPs and pharmacists who have expressed interest in being vaccination providers down the track.
“We know we are asking a lot of everybody in this huge and complex task.
“Our mantra has been we want to vaccinate Australia as safely and quickly as possible. We all want to protect our vulnerable Australians as soon as we can.”
Prof Murphy warned “there will be bumps in the road as we commence this task, unanticipated problems which we will solve together with our partners”.
But, he added, “we have no community transmission in Australia, we don’t have a burning platform, so we can go as fast as we safely can do, and embark on this really, really exciting journey”.
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WHERE WILL GET THE VACCINE FIRST?
Approximately 240 aged care facilities across 190 towns will be among the places, Mr Hunt said, to be “vaccinated in week one”.
“It has to start somewhere and it has to finish somewhere, but this is the beginning of the process,” the Health Minister said.
“Those towns cover all of Australia, commencing in Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory.
“Here in the ACT, towns such as Weston and Narrabundah.
“We know that in Tasmania it could be in Burnie or in Somerset … all of these are on the list, amongst others.”
There will also be 16 “Pfizer vaccination hubs” at hospitals in major cities nationwide.
The hubs will be for “the single most high-risk group at the moment”, quarantine workers, Prof Murphy said.
“We believe that vaccinating the quarantine and border workers will substantially protect them from transmission, we hope, but certainly from getting symptomatic COVID,” he said.
“That’s our single highest priority in the first few weeks.”
Along with border and quarantine workers, the first phase includes frontline healthcare workers and people living and working in residential aged and disability care settings.
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WHERE WILL THE VACCINATION HUBS BE?
The Pfizer vaccination hubs will be located at the following destinations:
• NSW: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Liverpool Hospital.
• VIC: Monash Medical Centre Clayton, Sunshine Hospital, Austin Health and University Hospital Geelong.
• QLD: Gold Coast University Hospital, Cairns Hospital and the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
• SA: Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre.
• WA: Perth Children’s Hospital.
• TAS: Royal Hobart Hospital.
• ACT: The Canberra Hospital.
• NT: Royal Darwin Hospital.
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WHICH TOWNS WILL THE VACCINE GO TO FIRST?
Facilities in the following towns and areas will receive the vaccine from next week:
• NSW: Alstonville, Austral, Ballina, Bangor, Barden Ridge, Blacktown, Collaroy, Collaroy Plateau, Corrimal, Cronulla, Dean Park, Emu Plains, Engadine, Glenfield, Gosford West, Heathcote, Illawong, Jamisontown, Marayong, Minto, Mortdale, Mount Austin, Narrabeen, Orange, Peakhurst, Penrith, Penshurst, Point Clare, Port Macquarie, Prestons, Roselands, Springwood, Stanwell Park, Tarrawanna, Terrey Hills, Thirroul, Umina Beach, Wagga Wagga, Warriewood, Woonona and Woy Woy.
• VIC: Altona Meadows, Ballarat, Ballarat East, Bayswater, Bendigo, Blackburn, California Gully, Canadian, Cowes, Cranbourne, Cranbourne East, Creswick, Dandenong, Dandenong North, Delacombe, Drouin, Drysdale, East Bendigo, Forest Hill, Heathmont, Hoppers Crossing, Ironbark, Junction Village, Lara, Long Gully, Moe, Morwell, Mount Clear, Neerim South, Newborough, Nunawading, Ocean Grove, Point Cook, Point Lonsdale, Portarlington, Ringwood, Vermont, Vermont South, Wallington, Wantirna, Wantirna South, Warragul, Wendouree and Werribee.
• QLD: Albany Creek, Aspley, Bald Hills, Beaconsfield, Birtinya, Bray Park, Buderim, Bundaberg, Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Carseldine, Cleveland, Glenella, Glenvale, Harristown, Hope Island, Kearneys Springs, Kepnock, Lawnton, Mackay, Meridan Plains, Millbank, Mirani, Mudgeeraba, North Bundaberg, North Mackay, North Tamborine, Palmwoods, Pimpama, Redland Bay, Robina, Sippy Downs, South Toowoomba, Thornlands, Toowoomba, Upper Coomera, Varsity Lakes, Victoria Point, Warana, West Mackay and Woombye.
• SA: Aldgate, Cowandilla, Encounter Bay, Everard Park, Goolwa, Hahndorf, Heathfield, Lockleys, Marion, Marleston, Morphettville, Mount Barker, North Plympton, Oaklands Park, Port Elliot, Uraidla and Victor Harbor.
• WA: Balcatta, Bunbury, Calista, Carey Park, Cooloongup, Donnybrook, Eaton, Emu Point, Kingsley, Lockyer, Madeley, Marangaroo, Mirrabooka, Port Kennedy, Rockingham, Shoalwater, South Bunbury, Spencer Park, Waikiki and Yakamia.
• TAS: Burnie, Legana, Newnham, Newstead, Norwood, Penguin, Riverside, Somerset, St Leonards, Ulverstone, West Ulverstone and Wynyard.
• ACT: Curtin, Farrer, Garran, Griffith, Hughes, Narrabundah, Red Hill, Stirling and Weston.
• NT: Alice Springs, Braitling, Coconut Grove, Fannie Bay, Farrar, Nightcliff and Tiwi.