Australians are starting to roll up their sleeves to get coronavirus vaccination for the first time in a few days.
The first front-line workers, older care and disability care workers and residents will face the challenge on Monday.
More than half a million doses will be introduced in the first phase of the program before it rises exponentially.
The ultimate goal, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says, is to get everyone who wants the outbreak vaccinated by October.
To achieve this, Australians are divided into five main priority groups, each with six subgroups.
Step 1a starts on Monday, February 22nd.
Up to 1.4 million doses of Pfizer vaccine are offered to quarantine and frontier workers, front-line healthcare workers, and elderly and disabled care residents and workers.
About 678,000 people are involved in this phase.
Step 1b contains up to 14.8 million doses – and many of them are AstraZeneca jab, which will continue as the phases progress.
Adults aged 80 and over, older aged 70-79, other health workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait island over 55, younger adults with illness, and critical and high-risk workers, including defense, police, fire , emergency services and meat processing personnel are included in step 1b.
More than 6.1 million Australians are involved in this phase.
Step 2a consists of up to 15.8 million doses.
It is offered to adults aged 60-69, adults aged 50-59, indigenous peoples and islanders aged 18-54 in the Torres Strait, and other critical and high-risk workers.
More than 6.5 million Australians are taking part in this phase.
Step 2b contains up to 16 million doses.
The vaccine is then offered to the rest of the adult population.
6.6 million Australians are still involved in this phase.
Step 3 the dose is up to 13.6 million doses and is offered to those under 16 years of age if recommended by the TGA.
About 5.67 million people fall into this phase.
Centers in large hospitals are also zero for Pfizer, which is the first cab off the list.
As the program expands, an extensive network of general practices and pharmacies will join the effort.
“This is the largest mass vaccination program we have ever had in Australia,” Professor Kidd said.
“But Australia has, of course, been incredibly successful at so many levels throughout the pandemic, and we expect to be able to introduce the vaccine.”
He said Australia would be “there” with countries like the UK and the US to achieve rapid vaccine introduction.
– With the AAP