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  • Australia will need a serious ramp-up of its COVID-19 vaccination schedule to meet the government’s target of population-wide immunisation by October
  • Health Minister Greg Hunt reaffirmed the bold goal earlier this week, though he said only 41,907 doses had been administered so far
  • To meet the October nation-wide inoculation target, however, 250,000 vaccines will need to be administered per day, every day, across the country
  • While the vaccination roll-out schedule is still young, Australia is yet to administer more than 10,000 doses of the coronavirus jab in a single day
  • Nevertheless, the Health Department has laid out a clear national roll-out strategy, which the government has committed to completing
  • The three-phase plan will focus first on quarantine workers, frontline healthcare workers, and aged and disability care, before dramatically ramping up vaccinations to the wider population
  • Time will tell if the Federal Government can ramp up coronavirus vaccinations as per this plan

Australia will need a serious ramp-up of its COVID-19 vaccination schedule to meet the government’s target of population-wide immunisation by October.

Health Minister Greg Hunt reaffirmed the government’s bold goal earlier this week, though at the time he said only 41,907 doses had so far been administered around the country.

Though the vaccine roll-out is still young, with the program beginning on February 22, to hit the October target, the government will need to administer one million jabs per week, every week, lest they fall behind schedule.

Minister Hunt said health officials understand the challenges that will come with such a dramatic vaccine rollout, but they are “really confident” that all states will continue to ramp up their immunisation schedules to reach the October goal.

Concerns are beginning to mount that the government’s target is perhaps a bit too ambitious, however, given that Australia is yet to administer more than 10,000 doses of the coronavirus jab in a single day.

For reference, to vaccinate the entire population — including children — by October, 250,000 vaccines will need to be administered per day, every day.

Even when excluding children and just vaccinating Australian adults by October, health officials will still need to administer almost 200,000 jabs per day to stay on schedule.

Either way, a dramatic ramp-up of inoculations is needed to meet the October target.

Nevertheless, the Health Department has laid out a clear national roll-out strategy, which the government has committed to completing.

The roll-out roadmap

The first phase of the plan, which is currently ongoing, will see just under 700,000 Australians inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine. This stage will focus primary on quarantine and border workers, frontline health workers, and aged care and disability care residents and staff.

The next stage, phase 1b, will see a massive spike in vaccination numbers to 6.1 million.

This phase will focus on elderly Australians, other health care workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 55, younger adults with underlying medical conditions, and critical and high-risk workers like police and firefighters.

Phase 2a will be the largest single phase of the roll-out, with 6.57 million vaccinations to be administered under the government roadmap. In this phase, adults between 50 and 69, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people between 18 and 54, another critical and high-risk workers will all get their jab.

Phase 2b will bring in the tail-end of the vaccination rollout, with the remaining 6.6 million Australia adults to be inoculated. Any missed vaccinations from previous phases will also be rolled out during this phase.

Finally, Australian children will be vaccinated, if recommended, under phase three of the vaccine roadmap.

Time will tell if the Federal Government can ramp up coronavirus vaccinations as per this plan. As it stands, major work is needed to get vaccination numbers up to where they should be under the October rollout plan.

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