— Health

Australia’s coronavirus vaccine program is set for ‘a big reset’ later this week

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program is expected to undergo a “big reset”, with details announced on Thursday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with state and territory leaders on Monday for the federal cabinet, with a further meeting scheduled for Thursday. In a statement issued Monday night following the meeting, Mr. Morrison said the leaders had agreed in principle to a series of changes to the vaccination strategy to be considered at the next meeting.

“(That will include) options to bring forward the commencement of vaccinations for over 50-year-olds under the priority group 2a, and the readiness of more state and territory-operated vaccination sites, including mass vaccination sites, as vaccine supplies increase,” he said.

The national cabinet-backed GPs are the primary model of rolling out vaccinations for those over-50s, with states and territories considering options to supplement rollout through expanded state vaccination centers.

“The commonwealth will continue to finalize the vaccination of residential aged care facility residents with Pfizer using an in-reach model,” he said.

Emerging from the meeting, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters in Brisbane there had been a “good discussion” about the vaccine rollout. “It’s a big reset on the vaccine rollout,” she said, adding that “firm decisions” would be announced later in the week.

coronavirus vaccine

“Everyone went into that room with the right attitude.”

The national strategy’s priority will remain to vaccinate people in the 1a, and 1b groups, with all states prioritizing using the AstraZeneca vaccine for over-50s.

Asked about a proposal to allow Australians returning from overseas to undertake home quarantine, Ms. Palaszczuk said no formal proposal was put in.

Our hotel quarantine has worked incredibly well to date.

Tasmania has flagged a specific role in the reset, offering to vaccinate aged care and disability workers who were to be covered by the federal program.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said everyone should be “far less rigid” in the approach to the vaccine rollout. “Given we know that there’s no issue with anyone over 50 having the AstraZeneca and there is considerable supply in Australia at the moment, that we need to crack on with it,” she said.

“We have got the capacity for the mass vaccination hubs.” Mr. Morrison said ahead of the meeting, there were strong arguments to bring forward the date of vaccinating those over 50.

Under the vaccination plan designed by the federal government last year, there are five stages.

Phase 1a and 1b are currently underway across the country, including aged care, disability, quarantine, health care workers, and aged care residents.

Anyone with an underlying medical condition, significant disability, or aged over 70 – over 55 for Indigenous Australians – is also eligible for a jab.

However, medical advice updated earlier this month recommended AstraZeneca – the “workhorse” of the rollout – be scrapped as the preference for people under 50 due to the risk of a rare blood clot disorder.

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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