While many Australians have watched with envy as those abroad receive their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine, it looks like our time is finally here. Yep, while the Australian government had their ducks in a row to begin COVID vaccinations in February, the rollout was technically still dependent on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approving the jabs for Australian use.
So it's a relief to hear that the TGA has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 for Australian use. "The TGA said following a thorough and independent review of Pfizer's submission, it was decided the vaccine met the high safety, efficacy and quality standards required", reports ABC News.
The TGA's approval is reportedly provisional and valid for two years. Only those over the age of 16 can get the vaccine, and two doses are needed to ensure you're getting maximum protection.
"Australians should take confidence in the thorough and careful approach taken by our world-class safety regulator," PM Scott Morrison said about the decision.
"Today's approval is another big step forward for our community, particularly in the protection of our most vulnerable people."
So, when can you get the Australian Pfizer vaccine? The government says about 80k doses of the vaccine will be delivered in late February. Once local production of the vaccine ramps up, more and more doses will be delivered, with the rollout expected to wrap up in October 2021. In other words, we're not quite sure yet.
Given the size of the country, the PM has flagged there are logistical challenges involved in getting the vaccine out to the community. "There will be swings and roundabouts in the process," he said. "You can also expect for us to explain those as they occur." Fingers crossed for a smooth rollout.
In the meantime, please enjoy this audio clip of Chelsea Peretti trying to pronounce 'Pfizer'.
Written by Reena Gupta, a Melbourne-based writer at MTV Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @purpletank.
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