15 Jan 2021
We welcome the Federal Government’s announcement that GPs will play a key role in COVID-19 vaccinations in Australia.
AMA Queensland, along with the AMA, have been lobbying government for several months and are delighted by this positive result for both our members and the safety of our community.
The Federal Government has secured agreements for three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine; University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine; and the Novavax vaccine.
These vaccines are all pending Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval that is the normal process providing strong regulatory and safety checks for the Australian community before any roll out occurs.
Once approved, the Pfizer vaccine will be the first to be administered to those at greatest risk in our community such as frontline healthcare workers, aged care and disability care staff, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions.
The requirement for this vaccine to be stored at minus 70 degrees will be a key factor in the logistics of this first phase with hospitals, residential aged care and disability care facilities well placed to manage the delivery of this vaccine to priority groups.
Pending TGA approvals, it is likely that the AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines will be more readily available to the wider community with GPs to play a critical role in this phase of the roll out.
GPs have strong expertise in delivering consistent, safe and efficient public vaccinations and can also build community confidence, understanding and participation in the program as well as monitor and administer the timed, multi-dose regimes.
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out will be critical to reducing the transmission, severity of illness and hospitalisations caused by the virus and it is vital we have high participation in the community to achieve the best health outcomes for all.
Published: 15 Jan 2021