First vaccine vials arrive next week

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THE first vials of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in the territory next week and officials have already started contacting people who are eligible for it under the first phase, said Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith this afternoon (February 15). 

In line with the national rollout, the ACT vaccine program will be delivered through a five step approach, which have been identified using public health, medical and epidemiological evidence, said Ms Stephen-Smith.

Conducted at the COVID-19 Surge Centre, with increased security, the first phase will vaccinate people such as COVID-19 testing staff, quarantine workers, border forces, airline staff, Defence, police, transport staff, hotel staff, pathology staff and emergency department staff.

About 1000 vaccinations are expected to be conducted every week over the first few weeks, Ms Stephen-Smith said.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the vaccine rollout will be one of the biggest logistical challenges the nation has faced.

“It’s a process that is going to take some time. The majority of Canberrans won’t be eligible to be vaccinated until the second half of this year, at the earliest,” he said.

“The COVID-19 vaccination will be free for all adults in Canberra who wish to be vaccinated. The ACT government will keep the community informed throughout the program rollout so that Canberrans will know when they will be eligible to get vaccinated.”

Currently there is no clinical approval for children to be vaccinated, and they are not included in the five phases, however, Mr Barr predicts children will be vaccinated for free whe.

“For the foreseeable future, we are urging Canberrans to continue with covid safe behaviour,” Mr Barr said.

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Danielle Nohra
Danielle Nohra is the assistant editor of "CityNews".

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