Australia approves Pfizer vaccine, first jabs expected late February

25 Janvier, 2021, 09:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • The vaccine had been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration's for Australians aged 16 years and over

The first people to receive a jab will be frontline health workers, aged care and disability workers, workers dealing with worldwide arrivals and quarantine and those living in aged care or with a disability.

The decision was welcomed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday when he attended a press conference in Canberra.

"Our priority has always been to keep Australians safe and to protect lives and livelihoods".

"This approval and the upcoming rollout of the vaccine will play an important part in our ability to manage the pandemic in 2021", he said.

The Prime Minister said the national regulator had approved the Pfizer vaccine through its ordinary formal process, rather than an emergency process as has occurred in some other countries.

Australia has purchased 10 million doses of the vaccine, enough to inoculate 5 million people.

Greg Hunt, the minister for health, said that the TGA had "placed safety above all else" during the approval process.

Australia expects to have the capacity to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine onshore starting late March.

Australia's vaccine roll-out plan.

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Secretary of the Department of Health Professor Brendan Murphy said both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines would be "very good" at preventing clinical COVID-19 illness, particularly severe disease.

The Director-General of Health says vaccinations should begin by March.

"But we're going to have to learn to live with this virus".

"We now check the individual batches of vaccines that are destined for Australians while closely monitoring the safety and efficacy of the vaccine as it is rolled out", he said.

Meanwhile, regulatory review for the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines is ongoing.

Victoria has recorded six new cases of COVID-19 in hotel quarantine as the state reached 19 days of no locally acquired infections, one year after the state's first reported case.

In stark contrast, there have been 25 million cases in the USA alone and in excess of 400,000 deaths.

Mr Morrison reiterated the vaccine rollout is not a "silver bullet", and that it would not immediately lead to a relaxation of restrictions on global travel, masks and social distancing.

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