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Police, army personnel, health workers and anyone over the age of 70 are among the six million Australians who can now book to receive their coronavirus vaccine.
Phase 1B of Australia’s biggest ever vaccination program is to be unveiled on Wednesday in the first large-scale roll out to the general public.
Australians now eligible include everyone over 70, other healthcare workers, plus Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over-55.
Adults of any age with underlying medical conditions which make them vulnerable to the virus are also on the list, and some high-risk workers including army, police and those working in meat processing plants.
The phase covers around 6.14 million Australians and use up to 14.8m doses of mostly the AstraZeneca vaccine (pictured, ambulance and police officers after getting their jab on March 7 in Perth)
The phase covers around 6.14 million Australians and use up to 14.8m doses of mostly the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The use of that vaccine had been suspended in many European countries over fears it can heighten the risk of recipients developing blood clots, but peak medical bodies have said the risk is negligible and the rollout should continue.
More than 1,100 GP clinics around Australia have received their first doses in preparation for the next the phase of the rollout.
They include 338 clinics in NSW, 285 in Victoria, 247 in Queensland, 87 in Western Australia, 84 in South Australia, 36 in Tasmania, 18 in the ACT and 10 in the Northern Territory.
Around 200,000 aged care residents, quarantine workers and frontline health workers have been vaccinated so far, well behind the federal government’s timeline.
Around six million Australians, including healthcare workers not on the frontline can now get the jab. Pictured is nurse Maddison Williams getting the jab
The government initially estimated four million vaccinations would be achieved by the end of March.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison admits the flow of COVID-19 vaccines may not be what the government had anticipated but supply is increasing.
He told parliament that only 700,000 of the 3.8 million vaccine doses contracted from overseas were able to be provided ‘because of the desperately serious situation that we find in Europe’.
‘We already advised back in February that the four million target would not be hit because of the disruption in supply that occurred, and that target would be pushed back,’ he said.
HOW TO BOOK YOUR COVID JAB
Go to the government’s Covid-19 vaccine eligibility calculator to work out when you are in line to get the jab
Make sure your details are up to date with Medicare
You will then be contacted when the jab is available to you, and if you think you’ve been missed off, you should contact your doctor
Once you’ve had your vaccine, you’ll be able to get an immunisation history statement to prove your vaccination status
You can get proof of vaccinations from your Medicare immunisation history through myGov, or by calling Medicare on 1800 653 809
If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, call the telephone number listed below
This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1800 020 080 COVID-19 vaccine inquiries
‘But the vaccination program will continue to roll out.
‘It will reach all Australians with the first dose by the end of October, and every single day we’ll work hard to deliver that vaccination program.’
The prime minister earlier told coalition colleagues at a meeting the situation was like a pipeline.
‘The flow at the start might not have been what we had hoped but now we’re filling the pipe, the supply is increasing,’ he said.
CSL’s Melbourne-made AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to start coming off the production line for distribution on Wednesday.
The aim is for one million doses to come off the production line each week.
Labor and GPs are concerned the national system to be used for booking shots is not operational, despite vaccines going to more than 1000 practices next week to be used immediately.
‘This is utterly remarkable and irresponsible,’ Labor’s health spokesman Mark Butler said.
‘They are being inundated by phone calls to their receptionist asking whether their patients can book with them and they’re not able to provide any information whatsoever.’
Medical experts and the medicines regulator are standing by the AstraZeneca jab as safe and effective despite concerns raised in Europe about blood clotting.
Europe’s health regulator insists the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweighs the risk of side effects.
CSL’s Melbourne-made AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to start coming off the production line for distribution on Wednesday
Source: DailyMail AU