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Australia When and where will the coronavirus vaccination be available in Tasmania?

23:17  05 february  2021
23:17  05 february  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Pfizer vaccine at COVID-19 Vaccination Site © Getty Pfizer vaccine at COVID-19 Vaccination Site The Tasmanian Government is preparing a major rollout of coronavirus vaccinations across the state, following the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration's approval of the Pfizer vaccine late last month.

Tasmania's rollout of the Pfizer vaccine will be starting at the end of February, but how exactly will it work?

Premier Peter Gutwein and Health Department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks intend to provide regular updates about the rollout.

Ms Morgan-Wicks said the vaccine rollout will be "a massive undertaking" and will involve thousands of people, particularly those who administer the vaccine.

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The Government has been recruiting registered nurses for the initial phase and is in discussions with GPs and pharmacists for when the vaccine is available to the wider community.

But the Government said it will do its do best to ensure there is no impact on existing health services

How many doses will Tasmania get?

The Tasmanian Government says it wants "as many Tasmanians as possible to get vaccinated".

"The vaccine is free, it is safe and it's available to everyone," said Mr Gutwein.

"Any COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Australia must pass the Australian Governments TPGA to ensure it's effective and safe for use."

The rollout will begin in late February and Tasmania will receive 2,340 doses a week for the first three weeks.

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This will then double to 4,680 from the fourth week, as the delivery of the second dose begins.

Mr Gutwein said, "the number of allocated doses is based on Tasmania's portion of priority recipients nationally in the initial phase of the rollout".

He said it was important for people to realise it would be a "gradual start to the rollout".

"The Pfizer stock will be limited over the first few weeks but it will pick up significantly near the end of March and as Tasmania starts to receive batches of AstraZeneca vaccine for delivery to the wider population as well," he said.

Who gets them?

The first batches of vaccines will be rolled out to priority groups, said Mr Gutwein.

The Tasmanian Government is taking responsibility for the following:

  • Quarantine and border workers
  • Hotel quarantine staff
  • Frontline at risk health care workers, including key ambulance staff
  • Hospital emergency department and ICU staff
  • COVID-19 testing staff.

The Commonwealth will look after workers and residents in aged care and disability care.

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The vaccines will be split evenly between the two groups.

The Premier says people in the priority groups will be contacted directly before the first batch arrives to arrange their two appointments.

Where can you get them?

The initial rollout to State Government's priority group will be delivered via the three main hospitals — the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH), the Launceston General Hospital (LGH) and the North-West Regional Hospital (NWRH) in Burnie.

The hospitals will each have dedicated Pfizer hubs.

The first few batches will be delivered at the RHH and during March the program will move to the LGH and NWRH

The Commonwealth will have arrangements with the aged and disability care places themselves.

Ms Morgan-Wicks said "as the rollout continues Tasmanians will be able to vaccinated at other locations across the state".

"This will include Commonwealth approved GP respiratory clinics, some General Practices, Aboriginal controlled community health services and our state run vaccination clinics," she said.

"These will be part of a comprehensive program to cover the state and will include rural and regional centres."

Planned locations, details of the booking system and other details will be provided closer to the time.

When it will be available to the wider public?

The Tasmanian Government is hoping to have the state's priority populations vaccinated by early April.

Nationally, the target is to rollout the vaccine to the wider population at the end of October.

Tasmania has not set a date but is aiming for "as soon as possible".

Mr Gutwein said he is hoping they will be able to "vaccinate every Tasmanian who wants to be vaccinated over the next few months".

"I would hope that that would be the vast majority of our population over the course of this year," he said.

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