By Juliano Oliveira
The Federal Government has announced a country-wide vaccination plan to reach all Australians by October of this year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed $1.9 billion for the vaccine rollout and more than $4.4 billion for purchases, medical research, and partner countries’ support. The total financial support for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is $6.3 billion.
“We’ll have thousands of points of presence across Australia – Hospitals, GPs, Pharmacies, Respiratory Clinics, Aboriginal Health Services and a specialist surge workforce. This will ensure we get the vaccine to all Australians, including people in rural, remote and very remote areas and others who are hard to reach,” the PM said.
The start of vaccination will depend on factors such as shipping and distribution to priority groups. However, the first jabs are expected in late February.
“Initially, we will need to prioritise the most vulnerable and those likely to experience a serious disease, as well as frontline health and care workers and other essential service workers,” the PM said.
“We will then extend vaccination to the balance of the population as quickly as possible, building towards protecting the entire community by the end of this year.
“We want as many Australians vaccinated as quickly as possible and as safely as possible. The COVID-19 vaccines will be made free to all Australians, and we strongly encourage all Australians to get vaccinated.”