Australia To Phase Out AstraZeneca Vax From Oct

Canberra: The Australian government will phase out the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine from October, a top health official said here.

Covid-19 Task Force commander Lieutenant General John Frewen on Wednesday night released Department of Health projections detailing the vaccine doses each state and territory will be allocated every week for the rest of the year, reports Xinhua news agency.

It revealed that Australia will receive between 1.7 million and 2.3 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine every week from the start of October, up from 650,000 per week in July and August.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently only recommended for Australians over 60, with Pfizer preferred for everyone else.

Frewen said the data would improve transparency around the vaccine rollout and allow states and territories to plan ahead.

“This is giving the states all of the best information we can to help them plan to get all of the vaccinations that we can provide to their citizens as quickly as possible,” he told reporters.

The projections also revealed that the government expects Moderna’s vaccine to be available from September, with 87,000 doses distributed per week.

Frewen said that the AstraZeneca vaccine, of which Australia has acquired 53.8 million doses, will still be available beyond October on request.

“The assumption is for all of the people and cohorts where AstraZeneca is preferred, we think they will have received their AstraZeneca before the fourth quarter,” Frewen said.

“For any people who still do require AstraZeneca, we will have allocations available into the fourth quarter and we fully expect there will be adequate supplies.”
 (IANS)