Australia begins COVID-19 inoculation with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine

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Summary

  • Australia has commenced its vaccine rollout today with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
  • The authorities anticipate completing the vaccination drive by the end of October 2021.
  • The country is expected to roll out Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in early March.

Australia commenced its long-awaited mass vaccination program to tackle COVID-19 today, with the frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens getting their first shot of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX).

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on 21 February 2021. Mr Morrison stated the start of the country's vaccination programme is a massive step that will enable the economy to come back to normal. The authorities are anticipating administering over 60,000 vaccine doses by the end of the week.

In Phase 1 of the vaccination drive, the priority groups will include nearly 700k frontline workers in the healthcare sector, aged-care homes and border enforcement, and residents of aged-care homes.

While vaccines in Australia are free, it is not mandatory for everyone to have them.

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Australia to get Oxford-AstraZeneca’s first batch in the next two weeks

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca was provisionally authorised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on 16 February 2021. However, the vaccine is yet to be administered.

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The first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is anticipated to reach Australia in the next two weeks. Some media reports stated that most Australians would be administered with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be manufactured locally by biotech giant CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) by mid-March.

Moreover, as part of the Vaccine and Treatment Strategy of Australia, the government has obtained almost 53.8 million doses of the vaccine and will manufacture 50 million locally. The first group of Australians can get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in early March.

The Australian authorities intend to inoculate 4 million COVID-19 vaccines by March and anticipate completing the vaccinations drive by the end of October.

Both COVID-19 vaccines have undergone extensive safety evaluations by the Australian regulatory agency and are already being administered in many countries.

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