The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in Australia.
The move has been welcomed by Federal La Trobe MP Jason Wood, who said the news would add “further confidence” to Australia’s vaccine strategy.
“This is an important moment for the people of La Trobe and for the whole of Australia,” Mr Wood said.
“The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine comes after rigorous and independent assessment by the TGA, which shows it meets Australian standards for safety, quality and efficacy.”
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the approval would play an important part in managing the pandemic in 2021.
“Australia’s vaccination program has been based on the medical advice from the medical expert panel led by Professor Brendan Murphy. As a result we are in the fortunate position of having secured 140 million doses of vaccine, one of the highest per capita rates in the world,” Mr Hunt said.
The vaccine will be provided free to Australians, with a priority group of Australians expected to receive their first dose of the vaccine in late February and early March.
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.
As the rollout begins across 30-50 hospital sites, people who need protection the most will get the vaccine first. This includes aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline health care workers, and quarantine and border workers.