Pfizer Vaccine Approved for Use in Australia
The Pfizer vaccine has encountered strict standards for protection and quality, a declaration from the Prime Minister’s headquarters said on Monday, and the vaccine has been approved for rollout in Australia for people aged 16 years and older. The first vaccinations are expected to be in late February and the first doses of Pfizer will go to a priority group that comprises isolation and border workforces, frontline health employees in high-risk surroundings, and aged care and disability staff and inhabitants. This will be managed at hospitals, with the government aiming for 80,000 doses a week.
Then the vaccine will go to elderly adults age 70 and above. Other healthcare staff; young adults with underlying medicinal circumstances and disability; and critical and high-risk personnel including defense, police department, ambulance, fire workforces will also be vaccinated as part of the second phase. After that people, age 50 and above will get the next doses, along with any other critical and high-risk employees.
Everyone else will get the doses; excluding people aged 16 and others. That group of children and adolescents will be vaccinated last and only if the confirmation supports it by then. Two doses of the vaccines will be obligatory as a minimum of 21 days apart.
If there are delays in shipping or manufacture, the government said rollout may be postponed until early March. However, the managing director of Pfizer Australia, Anne Harris, said “we are committed to delivering to 10 million does over 2021.” “But because of the dire need around the world and the significant increase in requests for our vaccine, we have committed delivering 1.3 billion doses in 2021 to now increasing that to two billion doses in 2021,” she said.
“It is important to understand that once the vaccine starts, that doesn’t mean you can jump on a plane to Bali the next day,” Scott Morrison said. “It doesn’t mean that the masks disappear, if that is what the public health arrangements are in a particular state or territory, or the quarantine arrangements for returning into Australia will end. It will start on a small-scale, it will build up and it will happen over some time over this year. Of itself, it is not a silver bullet, because there are still limitations to what these vaccines can do.”
Researches still do not know whether the vaccines can prevent or stop transmission of the virus to other people. They are not yet clear on how long the safety offered by the vaccine will last.
Health director at Pfizer Australia, Dr. Krishan Thiru, said “We will work with regulators all around the world to continually monitor and analyze all reports we get, whether it’s safety reporting or others reports, and once there is a critical mass of the population vaccinated we will be able to look at the vaccine’s effect on rates of Covid-19 in the community,” he said. “We need to collect more data from clinical trials and from the real world to know that, and it’s probably a few more months until we will know.”
Pfizer was also remaining to conduct its studies into younger age groups and persons at high-risk. The approval of the vaccine by drug regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration was full and official approval, he said, and not an emergency approval. Other nations, such as the US and the UK, provided emergency approval to rollout the vaccines due to the crisis in those nations.
The Pfizer vaccine will be distributed at up to 50 hospital sites across Australia and in residential aged care and disability care amenities. These centers will manage the ‘cold chain storage’ of the Pfizer vaccine which has to be reserved at -70 degrees Celsius.