EXPLAINED: Vaccine rollout to begin in CQ this month
Vaccination against COVID-19 will provide recipients the freedom to travel interstate and overseas, prompting a warning for Central Queenslanders to get their information from trusted and verified sources.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the rollout was on track to commence in late February, after the government secured an additional 10 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
"Vaccination of Australians against COVID-19 will commence in late February, pending approval from the TGA, to ensure an orderly roll out to priority groups which is safe, effective and explained properly to Australian," she said.
"With the additional 10 million vaccine doses, Australia will now have access to over 150 million vaccine doses for Australians and our pacific island partners, ensuring we remain a world leader in the fight against COVID-19.
"The Federal Government has announced we're investing $1.9bn for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian Medical Association; the big logistics companies including DHL and Linfox; and general practices and community pharmacies from around Australia to rollout and administer the vaccine."
Ms Landry also said her priority was to see the vaccine rolled out in regional and rural areas as soon as practically possible for the people who wished to get vaccinated.
"COVID-19 vaccine distribution locations and sites across Australia are currently being finalised with state and territory governments," Ms Landry said.
"The government is also working with logistics experts to ensure cold chain and supply to all Australians, including rural and remote locations.
"About 30-50 locations will be established as ongoing 'hospital hubs' in both urban and rural Australia.
"In addition, there will be more than 1000 points of distribution nationwide with exact locations to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
"These sites will include places such as GP Respiratory clinics, GPs, community pharmacies, state vaccination clinics and Aboriginal Controlled Health Organisation clinics.
"The government's call out to GPs and community pharmacies to administer vaccinations will strengthen the nationwide rollout, and will allow those living in regional, rural and remote communities to access COVID-19 vaccination if they choose.
"As distribution planning is finalised, timely updates will be communicated and made available on www.health.gov.au/covid19-vaccines."
Due to the importance of this nationwide rollout, Ms Landry warned against relying on incorrect or inaccurate information on social media.
"I strongly encourage all Central Queenslanders to please get your information from Australian Government websites and from expert medical advice, rather than social media or other alternative sources," she said.
"The vaccine will go through Australia's strict safety tests and while we will encourage people to take it, it will be voluntary and free.
"Ensuring that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone in Australia is a key priority for the Morrison-McCormack Government."
COVID-19 Vaccination rollout phases
Phase 1a - up to 1.4 million doses - Quarantine and border workers, frontline health care worker subgroups for prioritisation, aged care and disability care staff, aged care and disability care residents.
Phase 1b - up to 14.8 million doses - Elderly adults aged 80 years and over, elderly adults aged 70-79 years, other health care workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55, younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability, critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing
Phase 2a - up to 15.8 million doses - Adults aged 60-69 years, adults aged 50-59 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54 and other critical and high risk workers
Phase 2b - up to 16 million doses - Balance of adult population, catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases