Sydney, Australia, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- With the inoculation of an 84-year-old World War II survivor, Australia kicked off Sunday its Covid-19 vaccination campaign, with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison among the first to get the jab.
“The vaccination program propels us on the way out of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021,” Morrison said in a statement posted on the government website after being vaccinated to “give confidence that these vaccines are safe and effective.”
Today was a ceremonial act, with the injection of the vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer to 20 people, before the beginning of the free and voluntary vaccination Monday. Authorities hope to immunize 4 million Australians by the end of March and almost the entire population, 25 million, by October.
The first phase of the vaccination will include workers and care center residents, for the elderly and disabled people and for officials in the centers enabled to keep quarantine and at border control.
In addition to the Pfizer vaccine, Australia announced Tuesday the approval of the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford without a priori restrictions for those over 65.
The latter, of which the government has secured the purchase of 53.8 million doses, will be the one received by the vast majority of the Australian population, since it also has the advantage that 50 million of the agreed doses will be manufactured within the country.
Australia, with swift measures such as border closures and partial confinements, is one of the countries that have best managed the pandemic, with 28,920 cases and 909 deaths from coronavirus. EFE-EPA