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Regional rollout of Pfizer vaccine into aged care homes begins

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The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are being rolled out to hundreds of aged care homes across the country.

Aged care residents and workers are among the first Australians to receive the jab.

The vaccine isn't mandatory.

Leading Age Services Australia chief executive Sean Rooney says it's vital we protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

Experts say Australians can be confident in the vaccines

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences says the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out is a major development for Australia. 

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is an independent body comprising more than 400 senior researchers and health leaders. It has been active in monitoring and guiding the nation’s pandemic response.

The Academy released a formal statement today stating that the robust review processes of the Therapeutic Goods Administration mean that Australians can be confident that approved vaccines meet strict safety and efficacy criteria.

“The vaccines being offered in Australia will provide a new level of protection for our community,” says Professor Tania Sorrell, Academy Fellow and University of Sydney infectious diseases researcher.

“Now we have the tools to help save lives and reduce the social and economic impact of the pandemic.”

In its statement today, the Academy highlights the robust review processes undertaken by the TGA which have enabled rapid approval for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

“The vaccines have been subject to a full, not emergency, review by the TGA. We also have the phase 3 trial data and ongoing surveillance by regulatory agencies in the UK and Israel, with Europe to come,” said Professor Tony Cunningham, Academy Fellow and an infectious diseases expert at the University of Sydney.

“The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out has been carefully planned to protect the community, ensuring that populations such as quarantine, healthcare and aged care workers, as well as aged care residents, are given first priority.”

Once the vaccination roll-out is complete, in Australia and internationally, the world will be a significant step closer to reviving major cultural activities, such as mass gatherings and international travel.