Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination program is well underway, with more than 500,000 people receiving a free jab as part of the Phase 1 rollout.
According to Federal health minister Greg Hunt, there had been more than 507,000 vaccines administered at the close of business on Friday.
A total of 329,000 vaccines have been dispensed in state and territory vaccination clinics, 97,000 vaccines have been administered in general practices and more than 80,000 aged care residents have been vaccinated as well.
Many GPs have been vaccinating over weekend
“Our GP’s have played a vital role in this expansion and have not only been vaccinating over the week, but many practices are continuing to vaccinate on Saturday and Sunday this weekend,” Hunt said in a media statement.
Over 1,100 general practices, GP-led respiratory clinics and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are already providing vaccinations to people eligible in Phase 1b.
This will grow to a broad national footprint of more than 4,000 general practices by the end of April. These will be complemented by more than 100 Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics and more than 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services.
First of the 50-million Aussie-made CSL doses
“The rollout for the next week and further expansion is now well underway,” Hunt stated.
“The first of the 50-million Australian-made CSL doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have already been distributed and will now be distributed on an ongoing basis.
“As part of our Vaccination Strategy, Australia placed an absolute priority on sovereign domestic vaccine production at CSL in August last year.”
He added: “That decision has ensured that Australia is one of the few countries with strong, clear domestic supplies going forwards.”
UK has vaccinated more than 29-million people
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom the BBC reports that more than 29-million people have had a first vaccine dose and more than three million have had a second.
The number of first doses administered each day is now averaging about 400,000 – a drop from an average of about 500,000 a week ago as the schedule of second doses starts to kick in.
“The government has often described vaccine supplies as ‘lumpy’ and the UK is expected to see a reduction in doses available during April,” the BBC said.