Australians over 60 are being warned to get the AstraZeneca vaccine now or be put at the back of the queue when Pfizer ramps up.
Australians aged over 60 have been told to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca now or be put at the back of the queue when supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines ramp up.
Scott Morrison will next week send a letter to more than 580,000 unvaccinated Australians aged between 60 and 69 to urge them to get the AstraZeneca jab as soon as possible.
“The recent outbreaks of the new more infectious strains of the Covid-19 virus, with some tragic deaths in Sydney, make it even more important that Australians over 60 get vaccinated now,” the letter reads.
The letter contained no hope senior Australians would be offered the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine any time in the near future.
“We have expanded the number of community pharmacies who are administering the highly effective AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine around the country … This gives you, your family, and your loved ones more opportunities to get vaccinated,” it continued.
Health Minister Greg Hunt and chief medical officer Paul Kelly also signed their names to the letter, which outlined the increased risk of people within the age group have of getting severe disease with Covid-19.
“The expert health advice is very clear, people over 60 have a greatly increased risk of getting severe disease with Covid-19 and must be vaccinated as soon as possible.”
AstraZeneca is the recommended vaccine for Australians over 60 and is readily available from GPs, state-run vaccination hubs and pharmacies.
It’s estimated there are more than three million doses sitting in fridges waiting to be administered.
More than 80 per cent of people over 60 have had their first dose of the vaccine. Mr Morrison thanked those who were already vaccinated for serving as a “great example to others”.
“Thank you for keeping our country safe and for setting a great example to others. Your vaccination will not only help protect you and your loved ones from hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 but also ensure we can all move towards our return to normal sooner,” he said.
More than 35 per cent of Australians are fully vaccinated, with close to 60 per cent of Australians over 16 vaccinated with at least one dose.
The letter is set to drop in letterboxes the same week the Covid-19 jab will be made available to all Australians 12 years and over.
Australia’s supply of the Pfizer vaccine is set to rise to 4.5 million in September, but doses will be prioritised for people aged 12 to 39.
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