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  • Writer's pictureDr Steve Osman-ToddHall


On Monday 15th February the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived into Australia. This is a major milestone in Australia’s response to the pandemic. This is the first shipment of 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine the Australian Government has secured as part of Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy.

This week the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program will commence from next week. People in priority groups who are most at risk and who need protection the most will receive a vaccine first.

Also this week the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced their approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The first priority groups in Australia will start receiving this vaccine in March and people will require two doses between 4-12 weeks apart.

The TGA has assessed the AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective for all people aged 18 and over. The Australian Government Department of Health’s priority is to protect all older Australians as soon as possible.

In the TGA’s rigorous assessment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, they have not identified any evidence to indicate it is not safe or effective for people over the age of 65. The experience and evidence from the rollout of both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in the UK is that they have both been very effective among older people. The Provider Information Statement from the TGA is highly precautionary and cautious, and is based on current clinical trial information. Further clinical trial information from studies of older people is expected in the coming weeks. The Australian Government is confident the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer vaccines are both safe and will protect against COVID-19 among all adults, including elderly people, and particularly will provide protection against severe disease.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE AT SYCAMORE HEALTH ARE NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE THE COVID19 VACCINATION. I assume that this will be available from local Practices such as Morayfield Health Hub, whose web page / site you can of course check.

Best wishes,

Dr Steve (waiting eagerly for my turn for the jab!)

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