Economy

TGA formally approves Pfizer COVID vaccine

TGA formally approves Pfizer COVID vaccine”

The Australian government has purchased 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to inoculate 5 million people against COVID-19, and more than 53 million doses of that developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, which must pass TGA's assessment and approval processes.

More than 11,000 people were tested yesterday.

The regulator has approved the vaccine for two years, but insists they will pause the approval if any safety issues arise.

The government is now planning to begin vaccinations in late February - slightly later than the mid-February start date it had previously announced as a result of shipment and production delays, with healthcare workers and the elderly to be given priority access.

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has been provisionally approved for use in Australia with the first jabs set for late next month.

"What an extraordinary year it has been", Mr Morrison said.

"This is an important moment for the people of Nicholls and for the whole of Australia", he said.

The first COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in Australia.

Credit PA

Quarantine and border personnel, frontline health workers, aged care and disability staff and residents will be the first group to receive vaccines.

He said the vaccination programme should be complete by October.

The government's vaccine program is now slated to start in late February - instead of the middle of the month due to worldwide shipment or production delays - and end in October.

About 80,000 doses will be administered each week during the initial phase, though Mr Hunt said that number could be higher.

Meanwhile, regulatory review for the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines is ongoing.

"That is great, that will stop people getting clinically sick and hopefully people getting sick and needing treatment and unfortunately dying", he said.

"We will be holding [Prime Minister Scott Morrison] to account on that, because it appears that that is going the way of the commitment that all Australians who were stranded overseas would be home by Christmas", he said.

"With a pandemic raging across the world, we have to be prepared for and we have to presume that there will be new outbreaks", he said.

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