Australia’s biggest ever immunisation program – what you need to know

From February, subject to Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) vaccine approval, Western Australians identified as being in a priority population group will qualify for the initial vaccination.  As more doses become available, as many Australians as possible will be encouraged  to receive a vaccination for COVID-19 in line with the national Vaccine and Treatment Strategy.

This follows an announcement from the Australian Government in December that it had entered into four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and had subsequently partnered with several companies to safely distribute these vaccines to all Australians throughout 2021.

The rollout will occur in three phases, starting with groups identified as being in a priority population group including; aged care and disability care residents and workers; frontline healthcare workers; and quarantine and border workers.

Initially doses will be available through 30 to 50 sites across Australia, with a plan to expand this to more than 1000 points of distribution nationwide with the commencement of the second and third phases of the rollout.

In Western Australia there will be one metropolitan site and four regional sites.

This national program is of course subject to a rigorous assessment and approval process, as the Australian Government requires robust scientific data and analysis before supporting a vaccine candidate.

WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Primary Care Innovation and Development Bernadette Kenny said it represented the biggest immunisation program in Australia’s history.

“We are working closely with the Australian Government Department of Health and the WA Department of Health on what the roll out of the vaccine will look like in WA, as there are still a number of unknown factors.

“What we do know is that this is a complex logistical exercise, particularly here in Western Australia, due to size of our state and population dispersal, which pose particular challenges,” she said.

“I would like to reassure those people who are not in the initial priority group, that they can be assured of receiving a vaccine in a planned and orderly fashion throughout the course of this year.

“For now, and indeed even after they have been vaccinated, I would advise all Western Australians to continue to practice good hygiene, maintain physical distance, stay home if they’re sick and download and use the COVIDSafe app and the SafeWA app when visiting certain locations.”

Those wanting additional information on this process are encouraged to listen to our informative webinar Preparing for the Biggest Immunisation Program in Australia’s History.

The webinar, hosted by multi-award-winning producer and broadcaster Dr Norman Swan, features Professor Michael Kidd AM from the Department of health and Professor Terry Nolan from the University of Melbourne.

More information is available on our COVID-19 information web page.