Pfizer vaccine arrives in Australia with rollout to begin later this month

Australia’s first batches of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine have arrived in the nation forward of a rollout that’s set to begin.

The cargo got here by way of a Singapore Airways flight that landed at Sydney’s worldwide airport shortly after midday on Monday. The doses had been then taken to a safe location.

Well being Minister Greg Hunt triumphantly revealed the event saying “the eagle has landed”.

“The recommendation that I’ve is that 142,000 doses have arrived in Australia,” Mr Hunt mentioned.

The Therapeutic Items Administration will now check the vaccines to guarantee they meet Australia’s strict high quality requirements forward of a vaccine rollout starting from February 22.

Pfizer vaccine arrives into Sydney International Airport on a Singapore Airlines flight.
Digital camera IconPfizer vaccine arrives into Sydney Worldwide Airport on a Singapore Airways flight. Credit score: Information Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Gaye Gerard

Mr Hunt mentioned about 60,000 vaccines had been anticipated to be administered by the top of February.

About 50,000 doses will probably be allotted to the states, who will prioritise lodge quarantine staff and frontline well being staff most certainly to come into contact with constructive worldwide arrivals.

A further 30,000 doses will probably be made obtainable for aged and incapacity residents, their carers and workers.

The second dose of the vaccine will probably be administered at 21 days after the primary.

Not less than 62,000 doses from the preliminary cargo will probably be put aside in case there are points accessing second doses in subsequent weeks.

The first shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines is unloaded.
Digital camera IconThe primary cargo of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines is unloaded. Credit score: AAP, Bianca De Marchi/AAP Picture

Subsequent in line will probably be individuals aged over 80, then aged over 70, those that are immunocompromised, some Indigenous Australians and demanding staff.

Australia has secured 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Shipments containing 50,000 doses are actually anticipated to arrive weekly.

A vaccine operation centre has additionally been established in Canberra to make sure that the rollout is efficient.

“Whereas we’re taking the time to get the rollout proper, I’m assured all Australians who want to be vaccinated towards COVID-19 will obtain a vaccine this yr,” Mr Morrison mentioned.

The prime minister will probably be amongst individuals in the primary precedence group to get the Pfizer vaccine, whereas Mr Hunt will probably be a part of the primary group to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine – when it’s authorised.

Greg Hunt said this was a significant day for Australia.
Digital camera IconGreg Hunt mentioned this was a major day for Australia. Credit score: Information Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Mr Hunt mentioned if given the inexperienced mild, the variety of doses being given per week would double by early March.

A lot of the inhabitants is anticipated to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, which could be manufactured onshore.

Australia’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, mentioned he would “take both of the vaccinations”.

Earlier in the day, opposition well being spokesman Mark Butler criticised the federal government for not rolling the vaccines out sooner.

“We’re now into the second half of February and nonetheless not a single Australian has acquired a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine,” Mr Butler mentioned.

“Right now is three weeks because the Therapeutic Items Administration approve the Pfizer vaccine.”

He mentioned important particulars, together with when Australians would obtain the vaccines, remained unclear.