One million additional vaccine Pfizer doses have begun arriving in Australia after an agreement was reached with Poland, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced.
The additional doses are on top of the 40-million Pfizer doses that Australia has already secured for 2021, and will provide a boost to the vaccine rollout across the country, the PM said.
These new doses will be targeted to Australians aged 20-39, who were identified in the Doherty Modelling as the peak transmitters of Covid-19.
More of half a million doses are being prioritised for express delivery to the 12 Greater Sydney Local Government Areas where the outbreak continues to grow, following advice from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly.
First recipients in 12 critical LGAs targeted this week
This will give everyone aged 20-39 years in the 12 LGAs the opportunity to be vaccinated, the Federal Government said in a statement.
The 12 LGAs are: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and Penrith.
The remaining Pfizer doses are to be distributed on a per capita basis to other states and territories, to fast-track the vaccination of 20- to 39-year-olds and other high-risk groups.
Morrison said the new vaccines would start being administered in state clinics across Greater Sydney this week.
Those aged 20-39 are the backbone of the workforce
“These young Australians are often the backbone of our essential workforce and these doses will not only protect them, but their loved ones, their state and our nation,” the PM stated. “We can get on top of this by working together to suppress and vaccinate.”
Australia purchased the surplus vaccines, which were produced at Pfizer’s Belgium facility, on a not-for-profit basis from Poland. These are the same vaccines that are currently being administered in Australia.
“In order to ensure their quality and safety, the [new] vaccines will undergo the same Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) batch-release processes as all other Covid-19 vaccines,” health minister Greg Hunt said.
“The TGA’s processes are, I believe, the best in the world and we have ensured that they are thorough.”