Nation’s vaccination rollout among fastest in the world, taskforce head says

By Jackson Graham

Monday September 27, 2021

Australia’s vaccination rollout is among the fastest in the world, says the national COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce co-ordinator general. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australia’s vaccination rollout is among the fastest in the world, according to the national COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce co-ordinator general. 

More than two-thirds of Australians have had their first vaccination and 50 per cent of people aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated. 

Lieutenant general John Frewen said Australia delivered a record number of two million jabs last week putting the rollout among the fastest in the world.  

Frewen said Pfizer had confirmed its allocations to Australia of nine million doses for October, despite earlier concerns supply might be less.

He said nine million doses were expected to follow each month for the rest of the year. 

“In October we will have enough vaccines in the country to fully vaccinate all eligible Australians,” Frewen said. 

“We are now shifting from a period where supply has been our predominate driver in the rollout to one where demand becomes increasingly important.” 

He said two million doses of Moderna would arrive this month and three million doses would arrive monthly for the rest of the year. 

“We will be allocating per capita as we always do,” Frewen said of distributions to states and territories. 

A first cohort of 500 vaccinated international students has also received federal approval to arrive in NSW in coming months. 

To be eligible, students will need to receive a vaccine with Therapeutic Goods Administration approval, which includes AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna jabs. 

The students will also pay for charter flights to bring them to Australia and stay in Sydney accommodation refitted for 14 days of quarantine. 

NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said in a statement the program would gradually scale up as COVID-19 vaccinations rose domestically and abroad.  

“Importantly, this plan will not come at the expense of any Australian citizen or resident wishing to return home,” NSW deputy premier John Barilaro said in a statement. 

The Australian Catholic University, Macquarie University, University of Newcastle, University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University and a number of independent providers will participate in the program. 

Meanwhile, Western Australia will enforce mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for transport, freight and logistics workers travelling from “high” or “extreme” risk jurisdictions and entering the state. 

The mandate will require the workers to have a first dose by October 24 and a second dose by Christmas Eve. 

Workers will be required to have the jab if they live in Western Australia but have passed through the jurisdictions.

Workers must also wear a facemask when in public, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or undertake a rapid antigen test at the WA border. If staying in WA, they do regular testing until 14 days have passed.

WA will also classify Victoria as an “extreme” risk jurisdiction from Wednesday, making travel from Victoria only permitted in extraordinary circumstances.


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