Now, it's set to be a crucial day in the country's COVID fightback with millions of Aussies now eligible to be vaccinated. But the next stage of the rollout has hit a bit of a road block with bad weather across the east coast, causing more delivery delays.
The Government is adamant, though, that it is still on target to vaccinate 6 million people in the coming weeks. It comes as the Therapeutic Goods Administration approves manufacture of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd joins us now. Welcome to you Professor. Thanks so much for being with us. Obviously, a really big day for Australia's rollout, but the weather. Just how much is this going to delay things further? Surely, it would only be minor?
Look, we have over 1000 general practices which are going to start rolling out the vaccine this week, and of that, of course, will be ramping up to over 4500 practices over the next four weeks. So, most of those practices, which are ready to rollout the vaccine will be doing so this week, but it is very important that those people who are in the areas affected by the floods, make sure safety first, don't put yourself at risk just going to get your vaccine.
So how many vaccines is each GP going to get?
So it depends on where they are in the country, and it also depends on how many other general practices in their local area are involved in the rollout. So, practices will be receiving from 50, 100, 200 doses a week and that's with the initial rollout. That may increase over time, as we see what's happening with the demand for individual practices across the country. The good news with the TGA approving the CSL facility, is that as soon as the TGA has completed its batch testing, we'll start to get the rollout of those vaccines from CSL. They're going to be producing 1 million doses per week. And those doses, of course, will rollout to general practices and to other sites right across the country.
There has been some frustration with the delays, and it is important to manage expectations here. Do you really think we're still going to hit that 6 million mark by April?
We are not expecting to hit 6 million by April. What's happening with Phase 1B if that'll be rolling out over the next two to three months. So those 6 million people will be receiving their doses over the next two to three months. Of course, they'll receive their first dose, and then with the AstraZeneca vaccine, you get your second dose 12 weeks later.
Okay. Alright. Michael Kidd, appreciate your time. Thank you.