Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Vaccination

2:25 pm

Photo of Richard ColbeckRichard Colbeck (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Van for his question. We're now into week 4 of the mass vaccine rollout across Australia and we are prioritising the most vulnerable in society, as we should, to receive the vaccine first. Each week, more aged-care residents, border and quarantine and frontline health workers have had the opportunity to receive their first dose of the vaccine. This week we also saw the start of the second-dose round being administered, so we are now in the position to start to have citizens fully immunised against the COVID-19 virus. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the AstraZeneca vaccine require two doses for people to be fully immunised, the Pfizer vaccine 21 days apart and the AstraZeneca 12 weeks apart. Senator Van, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that vaccinations are gathering pace in your home state of Victoria. So far more than 38,900 people in Victoria have had a jab against COVID.

Next week we'll begin phase 1b of our vaccination program, which includes vulnerable groups, including older people and people with underlying medical conditions. We are enlisting general practices across the country to play a major role in the vaccination rollout and have been heartened by the enthusiasm of GPs to get on board our vaccination program, with 1,100 commencing next week. We thank all Australians, including our frontline workers and GPs, for their commitment and hard work in rolling out the vaccinations in this country. We are getting on with delivering the vaccine and it will underpin our health and economic recovery.


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