Health & Wellbeing


COVID-19 vaccine priority announced as Pfizer gets approval

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia. Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the TGA approval was an important step in the fight against COVID-19. “Australia is leading the world in fighting COVID-19 and our economy is one of the strongest globally,” Mr Hogan said. “I welcome the TGA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, with our own Australian experts finding it is safe, effective and of a high standard.” “This approval and the upcoming roll out of the vaccine will play an important part in our ability to manage the pandemic in 2021.” The TGA provisional approval is for individuals 16 years of age and older. Two doses will be required – at least 21 days apart. A priority group of Australians are expected to now receive their first dose of the vaccine as soon as it can be received from Pfizer and the necessary checks are undertaken by the TGA, prior to its distribution. The latest advice given to the Government from Pfizer is that shipping and the first vaccinations are expected to be in late February. In Australia the vaccine will be rolled out in five phases over the coming months and, over time, will involve more than 1,000 vaccination administration sites. The priority groups have been determined based on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which oversees Australia’s highly successful immunisation program. The Australia Government, states and territories, regulators and the health and medical sectors are working together to finalise arrangements under the Australian Vaccination Strategy and detailed roll out plans. Further information about the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine National Roll-out Strategy can be found here: Phase 1a Quarantine and border workers Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation Aged care and disability care staff Aged care and disability care residents Phase 1b Elderly adults aged 80 years and over Elderly adults aged 70-79 years Other health care workers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55 Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing Phase 2a Adults aged 60-69 years Adults aged 50-59 years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54 Other critical and high risk workers Number of doses up to 15.8m Phase 2b Balance of adult population Catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases Phase 3 < 16 if recommended