Health Minister says Australia’s COVID vaccine preparations are ‘ahead of schedule’
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says Australia’s preparations for a COVID-19 vaccine rollout are “ahead of schedule”.
The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are due to be rolled out from March, with the federal government today signing contracts with DHL and Linfox to distribute vaccines around the country.
Mr Hunt says health officials have been “working through the night” to ensure the vaccination program runs smoothly.
“We are ahead of schedule in terms of our tracking and preparation for the vaccines, both the securing of the vaccines, the assessment process, but also the distribution,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Tony Leonard, filling in for Ross and Russel.
But Mr Hunt says the vaccine rollout won’t be brought forward because “Australians don’t want to see us cut corners”.
“Around the world nobody has actually provided what’s called a general population approval,” Mr Hunt said.
The UK and US have rolled out vaccines under emergency authorisations, without full data and trial outcomes, due to the huge number of deaths occurring.
Mr Hunt says he expects the jab will have a “very high rate of take up”.
“There’s research that shows 80 per cent of Australians, at this stage, are ready to be vaccinated,” he said.
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Image: Sam Mooy / Getty