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AMA calls for COVID-19 vaccine priority list

4 weeks ago 17

Australia must develop a distribution plan now for any potential COVID-19 vaccination to ensure it reaches the population quickly, the Australian Medical Association says.

AMA president Omar Khorshid said he was pleased to see efforts to fast-track a safe and effective vaccine were going well and the government planned to make it available to all Australians.

“The greatest challenge is likely to be accessing enough doses of an approved vaccine and we expect that it will take some time to provide enough vaccine for the whole population,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“We need to develop a plan for a Therapeutics Goods Administrated endorsed vaccine to be distributed to at risk groups first, particularly the aged and those with other health conditions leaving them at increased risk.”

Frontline healthcare workers should also get early access to a vaccine, Dr Khorshid said.

The Federal Government has struck up a landmark agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture one of the world’s most promising coronavirus vaccines being developed by Oxford University researchers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it ensured Australians would be among the first in the world to secure the safe jab as soon as early next year.

It will not be a compulsory vaccine, but Dr Khorshid predicted Australians would willingly queue to get the jab so they could get back to their pre-coronavirus lives.

“There are of course implementation issues yet to be tackled,” he said.

“We know there are often distribution problems in getting the influenza vaccination distributed on time and to those who need it first.

“To ensure Australia is ready and able to get a vaccination out, be it the Oxford vaccination or any other vaccine approved for use by Australian authorities, we need a national COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.”

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