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Australia dumps first dose by October vaccine target for ‘quickly as possible’ rollout

Australia’s chief medical officer says they are aiming to get Aussies vaccinated “as quickly as possible”, despite Scott Morrison’s move to axe the first dose by October goal.

Professor Paul Kelly said medical experts spent the weekend planning for rollout changes, after damning updated advice said the AstraZeneca vaccine was no longer recommended for people aged under 50 due to a rare blood clotting link.

“What we are aiming to do is to give the opportunity for all adult Australians to have the vaccine as quickly as possible,” Prof Kelly told Today.

“Our aim to continue on with our priority population, getting them vaccinated by the middle of the year, is essentially unchanged.

“Then the rest we will see.”

Confusion has reigned over what the new advice means for Australia’s vaccine rollout targets.

The government had previously said Australians would receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine come October.

But Trade Minister Dan Tehan on Sunday claimed the government aimed to immunise all Australians by the end of 2021.

The Prime Minister was later forced to clarify saying his government had no plans to set a new timeline for the roll out.

“The government has also not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,” Mr Morrison wrote on Facebook.

International Development Minister Zed Seselja on Monday said more than 1.1 million people had now been vaccinated.

Mr Seselja reinforced that the government was seeking to vaccinate people as soon as they had access to doses, with an additional 20 million Pfizer doses due to arrive from October.



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