The vaccination plan for everyone at the end of the year was ignored after concerns about blood clots, quickly change medical advice about using AstraZeneca.
Australia gave up its goal of vaccinating nearly 26 million people of the country against COVID-19 by the end of 2021 after health authorities changed their advice about vaccinating people under 50. year old.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will not set any new targets for administering all first doses.
Morrison wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday: “Neither have the government set nor any plans to set any new goals for the completion of the first doses. “While we would like to see these doses complete by the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets due to the many uncertain factors involved.
Australia’s vaccination program was built around the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but regulators took a more conservative approach after a small number of rare cases of blood clots were discovered. mainly in young people are injected.
Last week, health authorities recommended people under the age of 50 to get Pfizer BioNTech.
The icy speed of deploying and slipping targets – the entire population originally believed to have been vaccinated by the end of October – has sparked anger even as coronavirus infections in the country were extinguish.
Morrison said 1.16 million people had received their dose as of Sunday, far short of the four million believed to have had the shot at the end of March.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, cheap and easy to transport, is believed to be the backbone of Australia’s $ 7 billion ($ 5.32 billion) vaccine program with nearly 4 million doses ordered from overseas and 50 million. Further doses will be produced at a facility in Melbourne.
The government has also ordered 20 million doses of the Pfizer injection – though only about a million have been delivered – and doubled it last week after medical advice was changed.
Critics, including the opposition Labor Party, argue that the government should reach more agreements with vaccine developers to diversify its vaccine portfolio. It has also registered Novavax jab, still to guarantee its approval and is part of the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility.
Morrison moved to reassure Australians that 1,000 more general practitioners will be recruited by the roll-out this week, noting that 142,000 doses have been administered to the elderly in more than 1,000 care homes, with more than 46,000. among them was the second dose at more than 500 establishments.
“We will continue our collaborative work to manufacture, distribute and administer vaccines as safely and efficiently as possible,” he said. and surpassed Canada and Japan.
Australia’s stubborn response to viruses – closing borders, imposing hotel quarantine and an effective check and tracing system – has largely eliminated COVID-19 that allowed people to continue their lives. they are normal.
However, the border closure also leaves tens of thousands of Australians unable to return home and means those already in the country cannot leave.
It has reported only fewer than 29,400 coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, with 909 deaths.