A FEW Canberra Health Services doctors were the first to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine this morning (March 10), marking the beginning of its rollout.
The AstraZeneca rollout will continue vaccinating frontline health workers under phase 1A, continuing on from the more than 2500 people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith announced the beginning of the rollout at the COVID-19 Surge Centre in Garran earlier today, saying they are still expecting to receive a tray a week of new Pfizer vials.
However, she said both vaccines are both safe and both vaccines are effective.
She is aware, though, that some people may have a preference for one or the other, but said evidence internationally is showing them both to be effective to combating transmission of the disease.
She also noted that phase 1B, which will see general practice clinics administering the vaccine to elderly adults aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, adults with a specified medical conditions, adults with a disability who have a specified underlying medical condition, and critical high-risk workers, should begin around March 20.
“The role out through general practice clinics is a Commonwealth responsibility but we do know that there’s been a really strong response from general practices across the country and here in the ACT,” she said.
“The Commonwealth has determined that general practices will have a number of different categories in terms of the number of vaccinations that they will be able to provide per week.
“The Commonwealth has been in contact with general practices to advise them of that assessment.”