Australia Starts Covid Vaccinations, With PM in First Round

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Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination program started on Sunday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison joining a group of nursing home residents and staff in receiving the first shots.

Morrison and the nation’s chief medical and nursing officers were among the small group that received the first Pfizer/BioNTech shots to help build public confidence in the safety of the program.

Australia Starts Covid Vaccinations, With PM in First Round

The broader rollout will start on Monday, with Australia giving priority to hotel quarantine and border workers, front-line health-care workers and nursing home residents and staff.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Feb. 15 that Australia’s first vaccines had arrived, when more than 142,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot landed at Sydney’s airport.

It’s expected the greater portion of doses administered in Australia will be from the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being manufactured onshore by Melbourne-based CSL Ltd.

Separately, the health department said “Green Zone” flights to Australia from New Zealand could resume on Sunday. The situation in New Zealand had now improved after flights were suspended due to cases of community transmission of Covid-19 in Auckland.

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