COVID vaccine rollout to expand to all people 16 and older

Matt Woodley

19/08/2021 8:18:35 PM

Every Australian aged 16–39 will be able to book a Pfizer vaccine from 30 August, but RACGP President Dr Karen Price has urged them to consult with their GP first.

Pfizer vaccine in needle
The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine will be made available to all Australians aged 16–39 from 30 August. (Image: AAP)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine will be made available to all Australians aged 16–39 from 30 August.
Bookings are not yet available and are expected to come online next week, but RACGP President Dr Karen Price welcomed the announcement and described it as a ‘positive step forward’.
However, she also encouraged anyone aged 18–39 to consult with their GP about whether they should consider receiving AstraZeneca now, rather than wait for Pfizer given uncertainty of supply.
‘There is no guarantee that younger people will be able to receive a Pfizer vaccine as soon as 30 August arrives, and Greater Sydney in particular is experiencing a rising number of COVID-19 cases,’ Dr Price said.
‘I recommend they book a consultation with their GP and discuss what option is best for them based on where they live, their life circumstances and medical history. They may well make the informed decision that receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine now is suitable for them.
‘If you have already booked an appointment to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine, I congratulate you and implore you to keep your appointment.’
According to the Government’s COVID vaccination allocation document, 1.12–1.25 million Pfizer doses are due to be allocated each week during September, of which primary care can expect 483,700–537,500.
This will then expand to 1.77–1.97 million doses from October, with primary care slated to receive 1.12–1.25 million doses per week.
Given the time until doses really ramp up, couple with the fact the booking system will not become available until next week, Dr Price asked young people to hold off on contacting their general practice for an appointment.
‘Our hard-working general practice staff are responding to this change and will no doubt be getting their systems in place for the August 30 expansion,’ she said.
‘I want to avoid a repeat of previous occasions this year when practices were inundated with calls and receptionists bore the brunt of frustrated patients. We want this to be an easy process for both them and you.
‘So, sit tight for now; the Government will advise soon when the time will come to book a jab.’
The RACGP President is also looking forward to health authorities ruling on vaccinations for all 12–15-year-olds.
‘The Delta variant is hitting younger people, including children,’ she said.
‘We must do everything possible to keep them safe from harm and bring their parents along on the journey so that they feel comfortable and confident having their child vaccinated.’
At least 12.8 million doses will be required to fully vaccinate the 75% of Australians aged 16–39 who are yet to receive a single dose, while more will be needed for second doses and for people aged outside this demographic.
A record 309,010 COVID vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday. As of 19 August, 50.2% of eligible people in Australia have had at least one dose, while 28.2% are fully vaccinated.
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Dr Angela Catanzariti   20/08/2021 6:47:36 AM

Again another hold up. Get the vaccine into three arms of the young who are clearly at risk with Delta!

Dr Christopher Mark Jones   20/08/2021 7:20:21 AM

In Queensland, the Chief Medical Officer currently advises that the risk of death in the under 40s from the AZ vaccine is greater than from covid. I will currently therefore continue to recommend that this cohort of my patients waits for Pfizer

Dr Alan Graham MacKenzie   21/08/2021 12:49:46 AM

Does that mean we will get adequate amounts of Pfizer ?.