Australia has officially kicked off its coronavirus vaccination rollout today (February 22); joining the rest of the world in combating the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian government is hoping to administer around 80,000 doses of the vaccine in the first round and is aiming to have the entire adult population vaccinated by October this year.
Aged care residents, nurses and doctors, disabled support residents and hotel quarantine workers, are among the first Australians to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
They were joined by members of the Australian Defence Force and Australian Border Force alongside Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and the Prime Minister, who got the jab yesterday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was a landmark day in Australia's comeback from the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We have always made our own Australian way through this pandemic and have done so with considerable success compared with so many other countries around the world," the PM said.
Today the Australian Government launched Australia's COVID-19 vaccination program, with the first vaccinations held in Sydney.
More details on the rollout of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is here: https://t.co/svQSOy6dDv pic.twitter.com/QJ455hAyOg
- Australian Government (@ausgov) February 21, 2021
"This vaccination program launches us down our path out of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
"Every Australian will be given the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, free of charge that has been proven to be safe and effective by our own medical experts.
"Our first priority is to protect our most vulnerable Australians and the frontline workers who are protecting all of us, and getting vaccinated does just that.
"As we roll out the COVID-19 vaccines across the country, we will be asking as many Australians as possible to come forward to be vaccinated, to protect themselves, their families and their communities from this highly infectious disease."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian added it was imperative that frontline workers were protected from the virus as a priority, saying: "We are really positive about making sure in New South Wales we protected our quarantine workers first and foremost.
"We know the vaccine works, is effective, and I'm encouraging everybody to take it.
"As soon as I am able to, as soon as my turn is here with the AstraZeneca I will definitely be taking it."
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt agreed, adding: "Vaccines are being prioritised so those most at risk, and those most vulnerable, can get access first.
"The Australian Government has given clear advice on the phases showing who will have access when.
"Today we have released a simple eligibility checker. It lets you answer a few questions and find out the phase in which you'll be able to access vaccines. You can find it at australia.gov.au."
The jabs will be free in Australia and are administered in two doses, taken three weeks apart.
Featured Image Credit: PA