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Australia likely won’t use AstraZeneca after October, except by request

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Australia will likely not use the AstraZeneca vaccine after October except by request, with the national rollout to rely on Pfizer doses to immunise the nation against the coronavirus.

The national vaccine rollout plan released on Wednesday afternoon reveals the locally-made AZ vaccine will be phased out of use in Australia except by request, after health authorities changed advice to limit its use to people older than 60 due to concerns about a rare blood clotting disorder.

COVID-19 Taskforce Commander, Lieutenant-General John Frewen released the data on Wednesday.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The federal government’s modelling, which COVID-19 Taskforce Commander Lieutenant-General John Frewen released on Wednesday, shows up to 2.3 million doses of Pfizer will be used across the country by October. The outline for vaccine distribution includes rollout information broken down by state and territory, type of vaccine and who they would be administered by.

The government’s “COVID vaccinations allocations horizons” document was first shown to state and territory leaders in Monday’s national cabinet meeting. Public health experts have said more data transparency is needed to help boost vaccination rates and increase confidence in the rollout.

From October to December, dubbed Horizon 3, up to 810,000 Pfizer doses will be distributed to states and territories, and a further 1.5 million will be sent to GPs and approved pharmacies.

“Given the size of the Australian population over 60, it is assumed that demand for AstraZeneca doses will reduce in Horizon 2 and be met by Horizon 3. However, AZ doses will be available if demand continues through Horizon 2 and 3,” the document says.

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