At the end of year long uncertainty that caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many the Covid-19 vaccines are approved for use across the world that will bring some relief. The countries that are hard-hit by the virus already are started vaccination process their most vulnerable population. Australia Government is planning to do the same, as Australian Ministry of Health officials anticipate the first round of The Covid-19 vaccines to be delivered as early as mid-February.
Which Covid-19 vaccines will be available in Australia?
The Australian Federal Government has entered into four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines , which will be delivered once each vaccine is proven to be safe and effective.
The Federal Government has arranged 10 million doses and will be the first to be used in early phases of the Australian COVID-19 vaccine roll-out strategy.
The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is expected to be the first COVID-19 vaccine to pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) approval process in Australia.
After TGA approval, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be early access to 3.8 million doses, followed by 50 million The Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in Melbourne.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will be the most widely available vaccine in Australia once approved by the TGA.
After TGA approval, Novavax is predicted to be available in Australia in the first half of 2021, with Australia expected to receive 51 million doses.
Australia is one of 188 countries that have joined the COVAX Facility in a global effort to provide rapid and easy access to COVID-19 The Covid-19 vaccines . Participation allows countries to purchase doses as they become available, giving access to a diverse selection of potential The Covid-19 vaccines .
When will people with disability and Elderly in Australia get the COVID-19 vaccine?
With all the Covid-19 vaccines yet to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and limited information outside of the COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy, it is unclear when elderly will receive the vaccine.
The Australian Federal Government has announced the first the Covid-19 vaccines will be available during mid to late February. Phase 1A will dispense the Pfizer vaccine to a group of 678,000 people, including quarantine and border workers, frontline health workers, plus aged and disability staff and residents.
Phase 1B is second phase and is expected to cover 6.1 million people including everyone over 70 years old, other healthcare workers, young adults with an underlying condition and high-risk workers like emergency workers and meat processing workers. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 55 are also included.
Phase 2A covers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are between 18-54, along with Australians over 50 years old and other critical high-risk workers.
Phase 2B is the rest of the adult population, plus anyone from the previous phases that have been missed out. It is expected that most international students will fall into this phase, with the exception of those studying and working in healthcare and those with underlying conditions, who should be prioritised in an earlier phase.
Phase 3, the final phase, will be for children but only “if recommended” given the evidence that they don’t transmit the disease like adults.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Australia has always strict requirements for any public health related issue and the testing and approval of The Covid-19 vaccines has same strict rules for implementation. TGA reviewed Clinical trials and testing of the vaccine must provide scientific evidence which demonstrates that the benefits of a vaccine greatly outweigh any risks. Any COVID-19 vaccine need to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) for use in Australia through assessment and approval processes. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness. So, you can be sure that once the vaccine is available for use in Australia, it will be safe. For more information about the COVID-19 The Covid-19 vaccines in Australia, click here.
Is the Covid-19 vaccine free?
According to the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, the COVID-19 vaccination will be free for all visa-holders, excluding visa sub-classes 771 (Transit), 600 (Tourist stream), 651 (eVisitor) and 601 (Electronic Travel Authority). Given the majority of international students living in Australia hold a subclass 500 (Student Visa), they will be eligible for free vaccinations.
Is it possible to enter Australia without the vaccine?
Nothing from Australian Government yet, however according to the BBC, Australian airline Qantas has announced that all travellers to be vaccinated before boarding a flight to Australia once vaccinations are rolled out.
As a second note, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the vaccination certificates will grant access to overseas travel in the coming months is under question, due to the numerous vaccinations’ varying levels of effectiveness and the potential for vaccinated people to carry disease.
Please find below the information on the COVID-19 vaccination available worldwide, then what is known about the vaccination in Australia.
Available COVID-19 vaccines Globally
According to WHO (the World Health Organization) there are currently a range of different the COVID-19 vaccine trials underway across the world, mean time more The Covid-19 vaccines are being announced regularly. At present, here are the Covid-19 vaccines most common in the news and important to us in Australia.
The first COVID-19 vaccine to get emergency authorisation in the United States, and it has received the green light in many other countries.
Dose: 2 doses, 3 weeks apart
Developed in the US, with most of its production committed to the US, plus some shipments to go to European countries, as stated in The Guardian.
Dose: 2 doses, 4 weeks apart
This vaccine (also known as the Oxford-AustraZeneca vaccine) will be the most widely available vaccine in Australia once approved by the TGA. It has had already extensive use and being dispensed in Britain, India and several other countries.
According to the New York Times, this vaccine is cheap and easily stored, raising hopes that it could protect most of the world. Research is still underway on what dosage gives the most effective protection.
Efficacy: 62-90%, depending on dose
Dose: 2 doses, 4 weeks apart
Johnson & Johnson
This vaccine is expected to release results from its late-stage clinical trial in coming weeks. According to CNN, the vaccine has shown promising results from its early-stage trials and could have a big impact on the pace of vaccine delivery in the US because it is given in a single dose instead of two.
Dose: 1 dose
Made in the US, this vaccine underwent early-stage trials in Australia and the UK, according to The Conversation. The company plans to distribute its vaccine to 1 billion people with deals with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, as well as manufacturing and distribution deals with collaborators in India, Japan and South Korea.
Dose: 2 doses, 3 weeks apart