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AstraZeneca COVID vaccine lands in Australia

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Scott Morrison says a new milestone has been achieved in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout with 300,000 doses of the AstraZenaca version having landed in Sydney on Sunday.

The first doses of this vaccine have arrived from overseas ahead of 50 million doses being manufactured by CSL in Australia.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration will now batch test the vaccines to ensure they meet Australia’s strict quality standards.

“This is the next step as we ramp up the vaccine rollout,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

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Most Australians will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the rollout due to commence from March 8, subject to the TGA’s testing process.

“Australia is in a unique position because importantly this vaccine gives us the ability to manufacture onshore’ Mr Morrison said.

“Every Australian who wishes to be vaccinated will be able to receive a vaccine this year.”

Australia started its vaccine program last week with the first injections of the Pfizer vaccine.

Health Minister Greg Hunt insists a stepped-up information campaign will banish any lingering doubts Australians might have about the vaccine’s benefits and safety. Photo: AAP

Almost 30,000 Australians have been vaccinated in less than six days, including 8110 aged care and disability residents throughout 117 facilities.

The government is rolling out a second $31 million public information campaign with the COVID-19 vaccination program now fully underway.

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“Both the state and territory teams alongside the aged care in-reach teams are ramping up their operations, with more vaccines being distributed across the country in the next week,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

The government’s initial advertising campaign, launched in January, focused on informing Australians about the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s world-leading independent approval process.

“The second round builds on these safety messages and informs the community about Phase 1a of the vaccination program rollout, which prioritises those who are the most at risk of serious illness from the virus,” Mr Hunt said.

“The advertising is important, so people understand how the vaccination program is operating, how they can find out when it will be their turn and answer any questions they have about the vaccines.”

-AAP

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