Novavax Vaccines to Become Available In Australia Late February

By Lily Kelly
Lily Kelly
Lily Kelly
Lily Kelly is an Australian based reporter for The Epoch Times, she covers social issues, renewable energy, the environment and health and science.
January 24, 2022Updated: January 24, 2022

Australia is set to roll out its first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine from Feb. 21, with federal Health Minister Greg Hunt saying that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) had given the government the go-ahead for the country’s fourth COVID-19 vaccine.

Hunt said that Australia’s first shipment of the vaccine would undergo a detailed batch testing process performed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). If the batch passes the safety testing, the vaccines will be rolled out to the public.

“For some who may have had contrary indications or reactions with regards to other vaccines, this will provide an additional opportunity for them, as well as those who for whatever reason have not taken up the program so far,” he said.

“But I do want to encourage everybody unless there’s a contrary indication, please continue to come forward and take the existing vaccines.”

The health minister noted that Australia had purchased 51 million doses of the vaccines, which ATAGI has noted has shown to be “highly effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in adults” by clinical trials that involved over 45,000 participants.

Novavax will be available for those aged 18 and older, and ATAGI has declared that the vaccine can be given to pregnant or breastfeeding women and those who have already had COVID-19. The vaccination process will include two doses that must be taken at least three weeks apart.

However, ATAGI stated that the vaccination process should include three doses for severely immunocompromised people.

GP’s Under Increasing Pressure To Rollout Vaccinations

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has welcomed the upcoming availability of Novavax but has called on the federal government to provide extra support for general practices, who are under increasing pressure from the children’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

“General practices participating in the vaccine rollout are doing a tremendous job, but we are under enormous pressure,” RACGP President Dr Karen Price said. “GPs and their teams will carry on and get as many doses into arms as possible, but we need more help, and that needs to happen right now.”

“GPs are still reporting doses not arriving on time or insufficient stock being delivered. So general practice teams then have the unenviable task of ringing families and telling them that their child’s appointment must be cancelled,” Price said. “This is causing a lot of stress and anxiety and, unfortunately, some people are once again taking their frustration out on exhausted nurses and receptionists.”

“Practices are also struggling to absorb the cost of taking part in the rollout. General practice teams did not sign up to make money, but at the end of the day, they must make ends meet, and that is proving very difficult,” Price said.

She said that since late last year, practices were given an additional $10 per booster shot, the new vaccines magnify the task of general practitioners who therefore require greater financial assistance. Price said that more funding would enable GPs to deliver more weekend and after-hours vaccinations.

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