The AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out within Australia, after getting approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been “cleared for liftoff” just one day after the first batch of Pfizer jabs arrived in Sydney on a Singapore Airlines flight.
The vaccine has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, with no upper age limit on the use of the vaccine; which has not approved in six European countries for use with over the 65s.
According to a report by the Guardian, the head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, John Skerritt, told reporters in Canberra there was “no reason to suspect” it won’t be fully effective in older age groups.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison reiterated that it was important that regulators “cut no corners”, to maintain public confidence in the vaccines.
He also said the provisional approval means that Australia has two safe and effective vaccines for the virus.
Tell me more…
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage temperatures of minus 70 degrees, the AstraZeneca vaccine only needs to be stored at normal fridge temperatures.
This enables it to be easily stored, transported and distributed.
Once people have received their first dose of AstraZeneca, the TGA advises a second dose to follow 12 weeks after.
According to the head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, John Skerritt, this raises the vaccine’s effectiveness to 82%.
Earlier this week the government recommitted to providing 4m vaccinations by April, and on Tuesday to provide at least the first dose to everybody who wants one by October.
According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, most Australians will be given the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the first lot of 3.8 million imported doses set to arrive in the country in the first week of March.
The first batch of the 50 million being manufactured in Melbourne will arrive in late March.
Both vaccines will be crucial to Australia’s rollout and pivotal for the travel industry, hopefully allowing international borders to safely reopen for business and leisure once more.
Who’s up first?
The first vaccine recipients will be quarantine and border workers, frontline healthcare workers, aged care and disability staff and residents.
The next group to be vaccinated will be the over 70s, healthcare workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55, younger adults with underlying medical conditions, emergency services and meat processing workers.
These groups will then be followed by those between the ages of 50 to 69 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18 to 54; the rest of the adult population; and, lastly, children under 16, if appropriate.
Each person will receive either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, depending on what their medical centre has in at the time.
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