Australia looks to speed up COVID-19 vaccine rollout to over-50s

21 Avril, 2021, 08:26 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

"If there's someone over 50 who's there and wants to take that vaccine we'll be looking at how that can be achieved", the PM explained.

While those aged 50 to 69 could be brought forward from the mid-2021 start of Phase 2a, the government has indicated it's sharpest focus will still be on vaccinating the most vulnerable - those in Phase 1a and 1b - as quickly as possible.

This comes in the wake of recommendations people under 50 should receive the Pfizer jab instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns about rare blood clots.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia is in "no hurry" to reopen global borders, but vaccinated Australians may be able to travel for "essential" purposes in the second half of the year, with the possibility of quarantining at home on return.

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"To be able to do that safely and effectively... there'd need to be plenty of planning", he confirmed.

Morrison has said even if people are vaccinated he will not rush to open the country's border, defying calls from state premiers urging him to ease travel curbs.

The federal government's goal of having the national rollout completed by October was thrown off course last month when concerns were raised of potential links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting.

The Prime Minister is pushing for the AstraZeneca jab to be made available to this age group, or phase 2a of the vaccine plan, via mass vaccination hubs and local doctors such as Global Positioning System. "I think it's the side effects and the reported cases of the clots that happened in Australia".

"We would like to send the message loud and clear that people have nothing to fear from this vaccine", he said.

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