(AUSTRALIA) #Coronavirus Report: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says they have secured an extra 10 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is due to be rolled out at the end of the month #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Feb.04: The Federal Government had already purchased 10 million doses of the vaccine, which was approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration last week: People will need two doses of the vaccine, roughly two weeks apart:

#Coronavirus Report: Australia secures millions more doses of Pfizer #COVID19 vaccine to be rolled out by end of the month: Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government, on advice from health experts, made sure it would be able to order extra doses of the vaccine when it signed its agreement with Pfizer.

Updated: 8h ago

“They advised from the outset that we should build an option … into our contract to purchase additional doses if the TGA were to approve the use of Pfizer,” he said. 

“We did that quietly behind the scenes. 

“Once the TGA approved the Pfizer vaccine, we triggered that option.”

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The Pfizer vaccine will be the first to be rolled out in Australia, with frontline health and quarantine workers and those in aged care set to receive it by the end of the month.

Mr Hunt said he spoke to both AstraZeneca and Pfizer Australia today to confirm the rollout was on schedule.

“Both have reconfirmed that, at this point in time, the vaccine rollout remains on track, respectively for the last week of February for Pfizer and the first week of March for AstraZeneca [subject to TGA approval], subject to shipping in both cases. 

“But both have reaffirmed their guidance only within the last two hours.”

There were concerns there could be delays in receiving the vaccine doses from the European manufacturers after the European Union introduced tighter rules on exporting the COVID-19 vaccines including to places like Australia.

A close up shot shows the label on the vial.
Australia has now locked in 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.(Reuters: Andreas Gebert)

All visa holders, refugees to be vaccinated

To make sure as many people in Australia as possible are vaccinated, the Government will offer free access to the vaccine to any foreign nationals who are in the country on a visa.

“That means the Government will provide COVID-19 vaccinations free to all visa holders in Australia and this will include refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders, and those on bridging visas,” Mr Hunt said.

“People currently residing in detention facilities will also be eligible, including those whose visas have been cancelled.”

The Government also announced $1.3 million in funding for multicultural bodies to make sure information on the vaccine rollout is delivered to culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

As well as Pfizer, the Government has secured nearly 54 million doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is currently being considered by the TGA, and 51 million doses of the Novovax vaccine.

#AceHealthDesk report …………Published: Feb.04: 2021:

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