AstraZeneca is expected to be phased out of the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Australia later this year as more doses of Pfizer and Moderna join the vaccination schedule.
The federal government has released vaccine distribution projections that it has provided to state and territory health authorities.
COVID-19 task force commander Lt. Gen. John Frewen said the information would allow states to better plan their immunization programs.
“This gives states all the best information possible to help them plan to get all the vaccines we can provide to their citizens as quickly as possible,” he told reporters in Canberra.
The document reveals that AstraZeneca will likely be pulled from deployment later in the year with supplies subject to state and territory requests starting in October.
This vaccine is no longer recommended for people under the age of 60 due to extremely rare but serious blood clots that killed two after more than 3.8 million doses.
“For all of those people and cohorts for whom AstraZeneca is preferred, we believe they will have received AstraZeneca by the fourth quarter,” said Lt. Gen. Frewen.
“For everyone who still needs AstraZeneca, we will have allowances in the fourth quarter.”
Up to 2.3 million – including 1.5 million to general practitioners and the rest to state vaccination centers – doses of Pfizer could be allocated each week between October and December.
Moderna will join the deployment from September with between 87,000 and 125,000 doses scheduled to be distributed each week.
More and more state borders have been closed ahead of the school holidays, with the Sydney coronavirus outbreak causing concern across Australia.
Western Australia and South Australia ban people from NSW, while Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania exclude people from seven Sydney hotspots.
WA also states that anyone who has recently arrived in the state of New Zealand and has visited any of the listed exhibition sites should self-quarantine for 14 days.
With Bondi’s group turning 31, Chief Medical Officer of Health Paul Kelly has declared the council’s seven areas to be Commonwealth Coronavirus Hotspots.
“I am worried. So far there has been a very close connection between the cases, but that has changed in the past 24 hours,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“We had the first of our super-spreader events.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced new questions about the urgency of the vaccine rollout, with around 3% of adults having received both vaccines.
The government is keen to avoid that figure and instead indicates that two-thirds of Australians over the age of 70 and almost half of those over 50 receive a single dose.
Mr Morrison accused Labor leader Anthony Albanese of “blowing the negativity” rather than taking political positions.
Mr Albanese asked what it would take to fix the failed deployment and establish a safe national quarantine system.
Associated Australian Press