Australian Vaccine Rollout ‘On Track’ for February: Frydenberg

Australian Vaccine Rollout ‘On Track’ for February: Frydenberg
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has recently indicated the government is considering introducing more flexibility to the nation’s retirement saving system. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg insists Australia is still on track to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from February, as new figures suggest people are more than happy to get their jab.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is due to approve the Pfizer vaccine, and others Australia has signed up to, in the coming weeks.

“We are not about to cut corners,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on January 24.

He said Australia is not in the same position as the US and UK where there are tens of thousands of cases each day with many lives lost.

“We have the virus under control here in Australia,” the treasurer said.

“But we do want to roll out the vaccine, that’s why the TGA’s is going through its normal processes and we are still on track to receive this Pfizer vaccine, mid to late February.”

There were no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases recorded across Australia on Sunday, while four new infections were reported in hotel quarantine in NSW and Victoria.

Health Minister Greg Hunt believes new immunisation figures show Australians have faith in the TGA to provide expert advice and ensure the safety and efficacy of all vaccines provided to the community.

Immunisation rates for five-year-olds are now beyond the aspirational target of 95 percent coverage, reaching 95.09 percent in the December quarter of 2020 and exceeding the World Health Organisation estimated international average of 86 percent.

“Reaching our target of 95 percent supports herd immunity to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases,” Hunt said in a statement on Sunday.

“These figures show Australians have both the capacity and the will to lead the world in taking up COVID-19 vaccines, as they recognise how important vaccination is, and how it protects and saves lives.”

Meanwhile, Victorian authorities on Sunday said there were no new cases linked to Australian Open tennis quarantine and that one case has now been reclassified, meaning there are now nine positive cases rather than 10.

Victorian health authorities asked people to stay sensible and celebrate Australia Day in a COVID-safe way.

By Colin Brinsden in Canberra