Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program will start today, Health Minister Greg Hunt says, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison expected to be among the first people to receive the jab.
- The Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Nurse and will be vaccinated along with aged care residents, critical aged care staff and front line workers
- Mr Hunt said Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese would receive his vaccine this week
- Each state and territory will manage its own targets and priorities for the broader vaccination rollout
With the first Pfizer doses originally due to be administered tomorrow, Mr Hunt told the ABC’s Insiders program a small group of people would be vaccinated today ahead of the broader rollout.
“Today the first group of people will be vaccinated, commencing with two of our aged care residents, our critical aged care staff, front line workers,” he said.
“We also know that the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Nurse and the Prime Minister [will be vaccinated], in order to provide confidence. The Prime Minister will be the last of that group.
“And so today is the day where the first vaccines will be administered in Australia.”
Mr Hunt said Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese would also receive his vaccine this week.
“So this is a cross-parliamentary view where parliamentarians don’t have any special status, the Cabinet or shadow cabinet doesn’t, nor even does the leadership,” he said.
“But it is about the confidence and indeed the research shows that people want to see that if we believe it’s safe, then that will give them greater confidence.
“Many people are worried, has this been too quick? And we have to show that it has been a full, thorough assessment and that we believe in the safety ourselves.”
Although today marks the first day an Australian will receive the jab, more than 200 million doses have already been administered internationally and its benefits are already being observed.
Each state and territory have designated and will manage its own targets and priorities for vaccination rollouts.