Monday, 22 February 2021
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Chandler for the question. Rolling out the COVID vaccine across the country is one of the government's highest priorities. We encourage all Australians: when your turn comes, take the opportunity to line up and receive a vaccine that will protect you, protect your family and protect the broader community and the country.
Yesterday we saw 84-year-old Sydney aged-care resident Jane Malysiak become the first person in Australia to be vaccinated against the virus. The Prime Minister also received his COVID-19 shot, as did our Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan. Vaccinating the Prime Minister, our CMO and chief nurse is a demonstration to show all Australians our faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines we're providing.
This is a historic week for Australia and all Australians. Tens of thousands will begin to receive their vaccinations, starting with the most vulnerable first—part of the phased rollout strategy. We have prioritised the most vulnerable people in our society to receive the COVID-19 vaccine first. A team of healthcare professionals will deliver 30,000 vaccines to aged-care residents across 240 facilities in 190 communities across the country. In Tasmania, Senator Chandler, the vaccine rollout has begun today in aged-care homes and at the Royal Hobart Hospital. A further 50,000 vaccines nationally for border, quarantine and frontline health workers will be delivered through 16 hospital hubs, including the one in Hobart.
I would like to reinforce what the chief medical officer said yesterday. I trust that most Australians will take this vaccine once it becomes available. (Time expired)
Today we have begun phase 1a of our national rollout strategy looking after the most vulnerable in our community, including aged-care residents and staff. Phase 1b will include adults aged over 70 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55 and high-risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing workers. Phase 2a includes adults aged 50 to 69 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18-54 years and other critical high-risk workers. Phase 2b expands to the remainder of the population within Australia over the age of 16. This is the biggest national vaccination program we have ever seen. I pay tribute to all the dedicated health professionals who are making this happen.
Our comprehensive information campaign will keep Australians fully informed and up to date about how and where to get the jab. As part of our public information campaign, we've invested in a program for peak multicultural organisations to help reach culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This includes advertising in 32 languages. Our message will target specific multicultural groups to ensure everyone in Australia has a full understanding of the vaccination program. The overall national campaign includes regular website updates, social media, local community and grassroots organisations, networks and of course the media.
There are three steps that Australians can take now to get ready: create a myGov account and link it to Medicare; check your contact details for Medicare and ensure they are up to date; and view your immunisation history record. (Time expired)