Nov 02, 2020

COVID-19 vaccine rollout: older Australians, healthcare workers to be treated first

The Minister for Health says older people and healthcare workers will be prioritised in the national rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Minister Greg Hunt said, “The medical expert advice is that health workers and the elderly are the top of… priorities.”

He said the government has two vaccine contracts in place: one with Oxford-AstraZeneca for 33.8 million and one with the University of Queensland-CSL for 51 million units.

“The results from both of those have… been positive, more positive than we had expected. T-cell and antibody response rates are very positive,” Minister Hunt said.

Results from the Oxford trials, in particular, have been “heartening” for older people, he said.

“We’ve seen from Oxford this week new data which has emerged which has shown that the protective capabilities for older participants in the vaccine programs has been exceptionally good,” Mr Hunt explained.

The government is pursuing contracts for an additional two vaccines on the advice of its medical expert panel. “I am confident [the contracts] will be completed within the coming weeks, if not earlier,” Mr Hunt said.

The Prime Minister will discuss rollout priorities further with the National Cabinet “in the coming weeks”, Mr Hunt said.

More detail about the rollout and “general population priorities” will be released in December.

“But what we want to do is give every Australian who seeks to be vaccinated that capacity over the course of the coming 12 months,” Mr Hunt said.

— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) November 1, 2020

Mr Hunt released a video on Twitter to mark the first day of zero COVID-19 transmission since 9 June 2020. 

“It’s been an enormous national effort and it’s a huge national achievement”, he said.

“I want to say to all our health workers, thank you. To all our public health workers and officials thank you, and to the Australian public above all else the deepest of thank yous for the hardest of years but the most significant of achievements,” Mr Hunt said.

 

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  1. Pity they didn’t follow through .

    I’m tired of the PM and his ‘chosen few’ talking and not ‘walking’.

    The buck stops with the PM.

    I’m voting independent next election

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