— Health

Australia to soon have access to one million Pfizer doses a week as supplies are brought forward

Australia will soon have access to up to one million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines per week, with supplies of the jab set to triple.

The country currently administers 300,000 and 350,000 Pfizer vaccine doses a week.

The 4.5 million doses were previously scheduled in September and are now being brought forward by a month. That will jump to one million a week in the second half of July, with 4.5 million expected in August – significantly more than first anticipated. The boost is not due to extra supplies. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is confident that getting amounts will give his government’s troubled vaccine rollout a shot in the arm.

That’s what you need to hit to get the job done,” he told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

And with another 1,300 GPs joining the rollout to deliver the Pfizer doses, he believes Christmas can complete the rollout. Pfizer has promised Australia 40 million doses of the vaccine. A spokesperson said on Friday that the number had not changed. “We continue to work closely with the government to support the ramp-up of their rollout program,” they said. Pfizer is the recommended vaccine for people under 60, so the supply boost should improve vaccination rates.


Just 10 percent of Australians over 16 are fully vaccinated with two doses.

Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles said the brought-forward Pfizer supplies were desperately needed.

“We need those doses because the prime minister promised we would be at the front of the queue, and in fact, we’re languishing at the bottom of the OECD ladder,” he told the Nine Network.

AstraZeneca latest

Meanwhile, Australians under lockdown in NSW have been urged to get their second AstraZeneca dose within eight weeks of their first jab. Sydney is in the grips of an ongoing outbreak, with NSW reporting 44 new local coronavirus cases as the city and surrounds prepare for at least a third week of stay-at-home orders.

A 12-week gap between AstraZeneca jabs has been recommended as the most effective way to protect people.

But Mr. Morrison wants people in the worst-affected areas who have received the first jab to make second dose appointments closer to eight weeks.

This was consistent with the advice of the national expert immunization panel ATAGI, he said on Thursday.

About half of those 70 have received the first dose in the three Sydney councils with the most infections. An extra 300,000 AstraZeneca – recommended for people over 60 – and Pfizer vaccines will be available for NSW. But Nancy Baxter, the head of the University of Melbourne’s population and international health school, said 12 weeks remained the recommended AstraZeneca interval.

“We don’t know how effective it is at eight weeks,” she told the ABC.

The clinical epidemiologist says the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation should advise vaccines, not Mr. Morrison.

“It’s not time for politicians to be making recommendations about vaccination,” she said.

Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws said the first AstraZeneca offered 33 percent protection, while a second jab increased the figure to 60 percent.

Professor McLaws supports bringing second doses forward but said the need for a booster shot later was likely. “If we start moving away from that 12 weeks, then your antibody response may not be as good as it could be,” she told the ABC. “But given that we are in dire straits at the moment with Delta, we don’t want it to go across any state borders, we don’t want to go to the elderly, it’s a good idea.”

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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