Australia’s First Virus Vaccinations Begin on Monday

By AAP
February 16, 2021 Updated: February 16, 2021

Queensland plans to administer the first 100 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to healthcare workers on the Gold Coast on Monday.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed plans are in place for the state’s vaccine rollout to begin next week and continue until the end of October.

“First and foremost, we need the Commonwealth to guarantee the supply. If the supply comes in over this weekend, the plan is for the first 100 vaccines of Pfizer to be given on the Gold Coast on Monday,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

Frontline quarantine and health workers will receive their vaccinations first before the rollout continues across the state.

This comes as New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Pfizer vaccine will be administered to frontline workers in her state from Monday, with 35,000 people to get the jab in the next three weeks.

Epoch Times Photo
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks at a press conference in Homebush, Sydney, Australia on July 14, 2020. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

“This is a very important development in the fight against COVID. It does mean that we start a new phase, the vaccine rollout does mean a new phase,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

Workers include those in quarantine hotels, those screening airport arrivals, health staff, cleaners, police officers and security guards.

All quarantine hotel workers in NSW will be included in the initial 35,000-person rollout of the vaccine. About 6500 staff work in the NSW hotel quarantine system each week.

Berejiklian said the timing of the rollout could help mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 leak from hotel quarantine via a frontline worker.

“This is the first cohort that will be taking place over the next three weeks, and of course we will update the community who will be (receiving) the vaccine beyond that three-week point,” she said.

Despite the rollout of the vaccine, coronavirus-related restrictions in NSW won’t be changing just yet.

And NSW residents with even the mildest of respiratory symptoms should continue to come forward for testing.

“If anything, we have to be even more vigilant in welcoming about 3000 Australians home every week,” Berejiklian said.

It comes as NSW records its 31st consecutive day without a locally-acquired COVID-19 case, as well as four cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Vaccinations will be given at Westmead, Liverpool and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals in Sydney, with regional hubs to be established as soon as possible.

By Nick Gibbs and Angelo Risso