Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout begins: Frontline pandemic workers first

Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout has officially begun, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison among the first handful of people to get the jab on Sunday.

Mr Morrison and the other early birds got a dose each of the Pfizer vaccine, whereas another concoction made by AstraZeneca is expected to make up the bulk of the country’s coronavirus vaccinations once frontline workers have been inoculated.

The federal government has taken charge of the program and staked out a five-stage course to distribute the shots.

Some members of each category will need to prove their eligibility, such as work or medical status, the federal government has said.

The government said it expects to have everyone vaccinated by October.

Phase 1a

The workers who are most at risk of contracting coronavirus will get the vaccine first, along with aged care staff and residents.

Included in the first category is quarantine and border staff, and certain healthcare workers.

The healthcare workers in this category are those who work in emergency departments, COVID-19 wards, testing facilities and GP respiratory clinics. Paramedics and laboratory staff will be included as well.

Disability care staff and residents are included in this category too.

Phase 1b

Once the first category has been taken care of, people aged over 70 will have they chance, along with other health care workers and those with an underlying medical condition.

Indigenous Australians over the age of 55 will also be included in this category, along with police, defence and fire officials, emergency services workers and slaughterhouse workers.

Phase 2a

People aged 50 and up will be eligible in this phase, as well as Indigenous Australians aged 18-54.

Other “critical and high risk workers” will also be included, the government says.

Phase 2b

The rest of adults will be eligible in phase 2b, and those who missed out on vaccinating in earlier phases will have another chance.

Phase 3

Australians younger than 18 will be up for jabs in this phase, if it‘s recommended by healthcare experts. Currently, the Pfizer vaccine can only be given to those older than 16.



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