The Pfizer vaccine will finally be made available to 8.6 million younger Australians.
More than eight million Australians will soon be able to get vaccinated for COVID-19 after the federal government opened eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine to all 16 to 39-year-olds.
In renewed efforts to get as many Australians vaccinated as soon as possible while large parts of the nation remain in lockdown and case numbers rising across NSW and Victoria daily, the prime minister Scott Morrison announced on August 19 that all Australians aged 16-39 would be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine from August 30.
The key takeaways
- All Australians aged 16-39 will be eligible for a Pfizer vaccination from August 30.
- Details on how to book will become available next week.
- Aussie urged not to cancel their AstraZeneca vaccinations if they were already booked.
The expanded eligibility will take effect from August 30.
“It has been a question put to me for some time as when we’d bring that 16- to 39-year-olds forward. The question is usually about 20- to 39-year-olds, but we decided to go all the way through the 16-year-olds to 39-year-olds, some 8.6 million Australians in the group,” Morrison said.
The move will ramp up a rollout that has seen 10.3 million Australians receive at least one dose.
The prime minister also said that the government was discussing when children aged 12-15 could access the vaccine, saying the ATAGI advice regarding the safest way to innoculate teens would be available “very soon”.
Since late June, people aged 18-59 have been eligible to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after consultation with their GP, due to the ATAGI recommendation that the Pfizer vaccine was the preferred jab for younger people. To get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Aussie needed to make an informed decision by speaking with their vaccine provider and find out if they’re eligible, weighing up the potential benefits against the risk of harm from AstraZeneca, mostly concerning the extremely rare side effect of blood clots.
The short supplies of Pfizer have meant that many people aged under 60, concerned about risks, have been left waiting for the Pfizer vaccination stocks to be replenished.
People aged 16 to 39 are not yet able to book their jab, however. Morrison said that details on when and how people in this age bracket could secure their appointment would be announced next week.
He also urged people not to cancel their AstraZeneca vaccinations if they were already booked.
“The best vaccine you can get is the one that is available right now. If you are in Sydney get vaccinated today. Go out and do that right now. That is my clear advice. And that is what we want Australians to do.”
Currently, almost 30 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Visit the Australian Government Department of Health website for more info.