The federal government has secured an additional one million doses of the Moderna vaccine that will help vaccinate all kids 12 and over by November.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, describing it as a ‘family-sized dose of hope’, said the additional doses will arrive next weekend, doubling the nation’s Moderna vaccines.
He said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is now recommending Moderna for everyone 12 years and older, and people will be able to book their jabs from Monday.
These doses, as well as the 4.5 million Pfizer jabs received in swap deals with the United Kingdom and Singapore will allow every person 12 and older to receive their first dose by the end of October, he said.
The federal government has confirmed Australia will be receiving a million doses of the Moderna vaccine from European Union member countries (pictured, Prime Minister Scott Morrison)
‘That means that everyone from 12 to 59 can go along to their community pharmacy where Moderna is being administered and they will be able to get a family jab,’ Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
He said 1,800 pharmacies will begin to receive the doses, bought from EU member states, through the week of September 20.
‘These doses, plus those already contracted supply, will be shared around 3600 community pharmacies across Australia, and up to 1800 pharmacies will begin to receive doses through the week starting from September 20,’ he said.
‘The next few weeks will of course be very critical, as we work together to reach the targets and the goals set out in the national plan’.
Meanwhile, another $50 million will be spent trying to convince the 20 per cent of Australians who are reluctant to get a Covid-19 vaccination to change their minds.
Mr Morrison also called out ‘hindsight heroes’ that criticised the federal government for not gathering more doses of vaccines in 2020, claiming people would always be willing to criticise the approach.
This boost to vaccine stocks will see every Australia over the age of 12 be able to receive their first jab by the end of October (pictured, a nurse administer a vaccine)
He said this new shipment would also be used to boost Victoria’s vaccine rollout, supplying the state with more than 400,000 doses.
‘Victoria is currently dealing with the continued surge in cases just like we saw in NSW some time ago,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘Residents in particular in Melbourne’s North and West will benefit from additional vaccines and the rapid expansion of vaccination sites across the region’.
The PM went on to thank the EU member countries that contributed to the shipments, as well as those who assisted with the deal including: Spain, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Bulgaria, Norway and Sweden.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said research showed a growing number of people were willing to be jabbed, as the nation looks to a 70 to 80 per cent fully vaccinated rate before easing lockdown and travel restrictions.
‘This campaign targets those who are still unsure to be vaccinated, as it will enable them to do things they enjoy, such as being with family, attending weddings, going to concerts and travelling,’ he said.
The Moderna vaccine has been approved by Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation to be used on Australians aged 12 and above (pictured, Moderna jabs)
More than 66 per cent of eligible Australians aged over 16 have received at least one Covid vaccination and 41 per cent are fully vaccinated, with some 22 million doses administered across the country.
Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said the government is already making preparations for when the 80 per cent target is met and international borders start to reopen.
He said a QR code that provides evidence of a person’s vaccination status has been developed and is being sent out to Australia’s overseas posts for trial.
These include the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US.
‘When the international borders open we want people to be able to travel again,’ Mr Tehan told Sky New’s Sunday Agenda program.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall told the program his state is on board with the national plan and expects state lockdowns and lockouts will be a thing of the past before Christmas when the 80 per cent vaccination rate is met.
NSW is already planning for its domestic reopening at a 70 per cent vaccination rate, even though its daily infection rates remain stubbornly high, recording a further 1262 cases on Sunday and another seven deaths.
1800 pharmacies across the country will receive the jabs through the week of September 20 (pictured, a vial of the Moderna vaccine)
Federal Labor frontbencher and NSW MP Tanya Plibersek is looking forward to reopening, but has some concerns.
‘I would be much more confident about the 70 per cent target if it was clear the premier was getting health advice that backed it,’ she told ABC’s Insiders program.
She is particularly worried about the state’s tracking and tracing, and the capacity of the hospitals to cope.
‘We are not going to get answers to those questions because the premier has suspended parliament and cancelled the daily press briefings,’ she said.
Victoria recorded another 392 new infections, while the ACT saw a further 15.
Queensland authorities are breathing a sigh of relief after recording no new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, having warned that it might have to take swift action after detecting five cases the day before.