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Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine has officially arrived in Australia and health authorities are preparing it for mass use.
The Australian government has confirmed the arrival of tens of thousands of vials of the jab in a flight that landed in Sydney just after midday.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the first injections will begin on Monday (February 22) next week.
"The advice that I have is that 142,000 doses have arrived in Australia," Mr Hunt said.
"They will now be subject to security, quality assurance, in particular to ensure that temperature maintenance has been preserved throughout the course of the flight, to ensure the integrity of the doses, and to ensure there has been no damage."
The Therapeutic Goods Administration will be in charge of determining whether the doses live up to Australia's strict standards.
There will be 80,000 doses of the vaccine given out next week, with 50,000 going to frontline medical staff and border and hotel quarantine workers, while 30,000 will go to aged care and disability care residents.
People will have to wait 21 days before they get the second dose.
There will be shipments of fresh doses coming into the country every week due to the government's deal that secured 20 million vials from Pfizer.
Mr Hunt hopes the number of people being vaccinated every week will double by the time we get to mid-March.
But he also added that while they expect the rollout to be fantastic, there could be an issue along the way.
"We have to allow for the time taken for [the vaccine] to be administered, for any issues that occur along the way," he said.
"We have to be realistic, at some point there will be a vial which is dropped.
"There will be other elements that will occur, we want to put all of this into perspective that the normal course of human activity will occur during the course of the vaccine rollout."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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