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Indigenous Australians aged over 55 among those in next phase of Australia’s vaccine rollout

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Federal Health Department secretary Brendan Murphy says phase 1b of the vaccine rollout will include adults based on their vulnerability to getting COVID-19.

Those groups include Indigenous Australians aged 55 and adults in the broader community who are aged over 80. 

“[It] will involve the over 80s who are most at risk as a general group, then the over 70s, and those who are immunocompromised. We will have our Indigenous Australians over 55 as well as frontline emergency service and defence workers.”


The federal government said the number of GP practices who have signed up to be part of the national vaccine rollout phase 1b is more than double the number initially forecast.

From March 22, more than 4,500 GP clinics will be involved in delivering the free coronavirus vaccine. 

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says some GPs who have not signed up wanted to charge patients steep fees for the coronavirus vaccine. 

“This is bulk billed,” he said.

“We are absolutely clear that this is free, universally available. There are some who wanted to change the patient and arm and sorry for them. But I’ll tell you what, the overwhelming body of general practitioners are standing up and they are doing an incredible job.”

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Mr Hunt said the federal government would be subsidising the cost of vaccine rollout through GP clinics.

“We have tripled the payments [to GP clinics] that we provide for the flu.”

The staged commencement of general practices will be complemented by GP-led respiratory clinics and Aboriginal community controlled health services.

The AMA said more than 130 respiratory clinics and over 300 Aboriginal community controlled health service sites will support the phase 1b rollout.

AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses from overseas are being given to frontline health and hotel quarantine workers, as well as aged and disability care residents and staff, as part of phase 1a.

Almost 74,000 people in Australia have received their first vaccine dose so far.

As the vaccine rollout continues across Australia, more than 40,000 of the country’s residents remain overseas and are trying to return.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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Additional reporting: AAP

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