Coronavirus Australia live update: Scott Morrison announces 20m more Pfizer vaccine doses after prob …

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Sumary of Coronavirus Australia live update: Scott Morrison announces 20m more Pfizer vaccine doses after problems with AstraZeneca-led rollout:

  • So given the previous delays have been blamed on supply issues, how do we suddenly have 20m more doses and can the public trust it?.
  • Here and now we have the availability of vaccines of Pfizer from our original contract which is for 20 million as well as the contracts with AstraZeneca and so supply is the fundamental factor..
  • The supply of that vaccine and how it been used in our vaccination roll out obviously is impacted by the events of the past 24 hours, events that were not foreseen..
  • Even when we get to the next phase, in phase 2, we are still talking about millions and millions of Australians over the age of 50 for whom the AstraZeneca vaccine is recommended..
  • Not recommended against, recommended for, that AstraZeneca is a vaccine that can be very effectively used and is very effective in supporting Australia vaccination program..
  • So all up now we had 170 million doses contracted, prior to today we had 150 million doses contracted but when there are events that require us to be fleet footed, to shore up our supplies then we have taken those decisions but in terms of the roll out and the timing I will leave that to the minister..
  • In terms of the investment, our total investment in vaccines alone is over $4 billion and our total investment the vaccine program is now over $7 billion..
  • So the Scientific Advisory Group strongly recommended that we have a stake in the mRNA vaccine and we went with Pfizer mainly because of its capacity to deliver and it was not a new company and experience has shown they have delivered a whole lot more vaccine than Moderna..
  • Johnson as we have with every other company but every single recommendation of the scientific and technical advisory group that has been made to government has been accepted..
  • Will the original 20m Pfizer doses be brought forward and how many of the extra doses will be arriving each week when those quarters (about six months away) roll up?.
  • Then the 20 million that has just been purchased at this point in time is settled for the fourth quarter but we are working with them on the possibility of bringing forward as many of those doses as possible..
  • There is a double job for the government now – maintain confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine, the only one we have a licence to make in Australia, as well as work out what the new rollout will look like..
  • Prof Brendan Murphy is going through what the data releases will look like – you’ll see how many people have been vaccinated, where the doses are going, and how the rollout is progressing..
  • I just want to note that is the number of commonwealth-administered doses that are occurring in the state, they are not doses being done by the states, they are doses being done within those states by the commonwealth program..
  • The short version of that Scott Morrison comment – the states aren’t giving up their powers on when they can close the borders, and no one knows yet when the international borders can be open, or when Australians can travel without having to quarantine on their way back (because we don’t know when they will be vaccinated)..
  • What we are asking the medical expert panel to tell us is what are the thresholds that we need to be able to meet to do things such as the following – Australians who are vaccinated being able to travel overseas and return to Australia and not go into hotel quarantine, potentially go into hotel quarantine or not even into home quarantine at all..
  • That will be a major change and to extent to which Australians returning from overseas who have had recognised vaccines also approved here in Australia with appropriate accreditation can return to Australia on that same basis and to enable potentially down the track travel from low-risk countries with similar vaccine arrangements..
  • No one is saying that any of those things are coming in today but what we are working and planning for and have tasked the medical professionals who advise us on is what are the marks we have to meet to enable us to start opening up Australia more than we are now?.
  • Now, according to the ABS, there are about 12 million 16 to 49-year-olds in Australia (Pfizer is recommended for 16-year-olds and over.) So that is quite a bit of the population, who don’t have a set timeline yet for when they can receive the recommended (at this stage) vaccine..
  • In terms of the continuity of the program I think it is very important to emphasise that the basic settings as we progress through 1A and 1B and even phase 2A are largely unchanged..
  • We will have the front-line workers and the quarantine workers, those programs in the case of the quarantine and the frontline health workers are largely completed and we thank the states for that..
  • The aged care, as you can hear, is progressing very significantly with now over 133,000 people vaccinated and then we would have to make a change with regards to ensuring those who are under 50 that still haven’t been vaccinated have access to Pfizer…

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