The Vaccine Operations Centre has released its most recent update on the status of the vaccine rollout.
Australians who are severely immunocompromised are being encouraged to contact their GP or specialist to discuss the possibility they may require a third COVID-19 vaccine dose to boost their protection to the highest level.
This follows advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and other leading vaccination and health experts.
It is expected up to approximately 500,000 people in Australia who are severely immunocompromised may need a third dose of vaccine over the coming months. This includes people who are being actively treated for cancer, organ failure, or with a range of immunosuppressive or biologic therapies.
The recommended interval for the third dose is two to six months after the second dose of vaccine. ATAGI’s advice is that an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is the preferred option for a third dose.
Importantly, Australians who are mildly to moderately immunocompromised are not being recommended by ATAGI to have a third dose at this stage.
Advice on booster doses for the general population is expected in coming weeks.
With more than 151 million Pfizer, Novavax and Moderna vaccines already secured for supply into the future, Australia is well prepared to provide booster doses if they are recommended by the medical experts.
To date, 82% of the population over the age of 16 has received one vaccine dose, and more than 62% are fully vaccinated.
Supplying and producing the vaccine
The ability to manufacture vaccines onshore has been essential to the progress of our rollout and CSL has now manufactured and supplied 21,171,300 doses of vaccine for use in Australia.
Last week, 1,585,350 doses of Pfizer, 499,300 doses of Moderna and 1,157,100 doses of AstraZeneca have been released by the Vaccine Operations Centre for distribution.
Over the coming days, the TGA will conduct sample testing of 1,349,010 doses of Pfizer vaccine, 750,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, along with 1,358,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine produced onshore by CSL, prior to releasing the vaccines for distribution.
Distributing the vaccine
With support from Distribution Partners DHL and Linfox, more than 2,470,728 vaccine doses were delivered across Australia to metropolitan, rural and remote locations, along with 4,869 deliveries of consumables.
Administering the vaccine
This week, 1,937,574 doses were administered across the country, taking the total number of doses administered 30.7 million. It took 45 days to reach our first million doses of vaccine administered and 4 days for the most recent.
Original story from The Australian Government Department of Health page. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.
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