First doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine have landed in Australia as preparations continue for first phase of national rollout, Minister of Health Greg Hunt says

From Monday the 22nd February, people get the vaccine Just after noon today, more than 142 arrive000 cans from Europe to Sydney

“They are now subject to safety and quality assurance, particularly to ensure that the temperature is maintained throughout the flight to ensure the integrity of the cans and to ensure that no damage has occurred”Mr. Hunt said

The government gives 80 next week000 doses of the vaccine free, with 50000 go to states and territories to vaccinate quarantine and frontline health workers, and 30000 to residents and workers of elderly and disabled care

Mr Hunt said the doses would be divided among states based on population and more information would be released later this week

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that an additional 10 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine had been secured for a grand total of 20 million

It is enough to vaccinate 10 million people, taking two doses about two weeks apart

Mr Hunt said the government expected by the end of month 60000 doses are dispensed, which means that the rollout was “a little earlier than planned”

“We need to allow the time it will take to give [the vaccine] for any problems that arise along the way,” he said

“We have to be realistic, at some point there will be a vial that will be dropped

“There will be other elements that will arise We want to put all of this in perspective so that the normal course of human activity occurs in the course of vaccine introduction “

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There were concerns over whether Australia would get its contract after the European Union introduced new rules for the export of block-made COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer

But last week the EU ambassador to Australia said the cans should leave Europe

The nationwide introduction of the Pfizer vaccine has been described as the greatest logistical challenge since World War II

Mr Hunt said if the Oxford-AstraZeneca University vaccine were approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) it would mean vaccine production and adoption could increase significantly

He said the exact timeframe for the first doses of this vaccine, which is still under review by the TGA, is still uncertain

The government has bought just under 54 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the majority of which is manufactured on land in Melbourne by medical giant CSL

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