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Vaccine rollout ‘on track’ as 800,000 locally produced doses get the green light

Ross and Russel
Article image for Vaccine rollout ‘on track’ as 800,000 locally produced doses get the green light

Australia’s chief nurse says the vaccine rollout is “on track”, with more than 800,000 doses of locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine to begin being distributed across the country today.

It comes after the Therapeutic Goods Administrator last night approved the release of the first four batches of the vaccine made at CSL in Melbourne.

CSL has been contracted to provide more than 50 million doses of the vaccine in coming months.

Each batch produced will be tested by the TGA before it’s rolled out.

Chief nursing and midwifery officer, Alison McMillan, says batch testing is “an important part of making sure we keep all Australians safe through an independent testing regime”, and denied suggestions the rollout has been “slow”.

ROSS STEVENSON: “What has taken CSL so long? I first heard about the AstraZeneca vaccine in March of last year, and a woman from Oxford University said ‘We’re so confident it’s going to work, we’ve already started making it’. How come CSL has been so slow?”

MS MCMILLAN: “Well, they haven’t been slow. The manufacture has been underway since we made the contract late last year and this is not something you can just cook up overnight.”

Ms McMillan says the rollout is “on track”.

“Our target is to have everyone who wants to be vaccinated with the first dose by October,” she said.

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Ross and Russel
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