• Tony Bosworth

“Important moment for Hawkesbury” – Covid vaccine approved

Senator Marise Payne has announced there’s now official approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech anti-Covid vaccine and says it’s vital Hawkesbury residents seek out trusted and reliable information on the vaccine and its rollout.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia this morning.

“This is an important moment for our Hawkesbury community, and for the whole of Australia,” Senator Payne said.

“The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine comes after rigorous and independent assessment by the TGA, which shows it meets Australian standards for safety, quality and efficacy.”

A priority group of Australians will soon receive their first dose of the vaccine as soon as it can be received from Pfizer and the necessary checks are undertaken by the TGA, prior to its distribution from next month.

The vaccine will be free to all Australians, with a priority group of residents expected to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in late February and early March.

“Australia’s vaccination program has been based on the medical advice from the medical expert panel led by Professor Brendan Murphy,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said this morning.

“As a result we are in the fortunate position of having secured 140 million doses of vaccine, one of the highest per capita rates in the world. We will continue to review the medical advice and monitor and adapt to developments around the world,” Minister Hunt said.

In Australia the vaccine will be rolled out in five phases over the coming months and, over time, will involve more than 1000 vaccination administration sites.

The Australian Government, states and territories, regulators and the health and medical sectors are working together to finalise arrangements under the Australian Vaccination Strategy and detailed roll out plans.

As the rollout begins across 30-50 hospital sites, people who need protection the most will get the vaccine first. This includes aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline health care workers, and quarantine and border workers.

Senator Payne said it was essential Hawkesbury residents access official information about COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout.

“It is vital that our community continue to follow trusted and reliable information from health authorities in order to keep everyone safe,” Senator Payne said.

“I encourage anyone with questions about the vaccine to visit the Department of Health website for accurate and up to date information, and to ensure they have the COVIDSafe app downloaded on their phone.

“My Western Sydney office is on hand to assist members of the public with enquiries. Should members of the public have any questions, they can email my team at senator.payne@aph.gov.au or call on (02) 9687 8755.”

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