Vaccine Operations Centre – Weekly Operational Update – 23 August 2021

A statement from the Vaccine Operations Centre on the status of the vaccine rollout.

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Over the past seven days, a record of more than 1.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the country.

During the past week, more than 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered on three consecutive days – Wednesday to Friday. And the weekend tally of more than 335,500 doses was a weekend record.

On a per capita basis, this seven-day figure is on par with the best week the US has ever achieved during its vaccine rollout – and is better than the best ever week recorded in the UK.

Across the country, more than 17 million vaccine doses have now been administered – and more than half the country’s population aged 16 and older has had a first dose.

It is expected approximately 8.6 million Australians aged 16 to 39 will start to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from 30 August.

This follows a decision taken by the National Security Committee – and affirmed by the Commonwealth Cabinet – on 19 August.

The decision to open up the vaccine rollout to this age group will benefit up to 1.2 million young Australians aged 16 to 18, and a further 7.4 million Australians aged 19 to 39.

Further advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) about opening up the vaccination rollout to all 12 to 15-year-olds is expected very soon.

Already, significant preparatory work has been undertaken involving Lieutenant General John Frewen’s taskforce and the states and territories in relation to how the rollout can be extended to this age group.

The rollout program has already been opened up to approximately 220,000 12 to 15-year-olds in specific at-risk population groups on the advice of ATAGI.

Supplying and producing the vaccine

The ability to manufacture vaccines onshore has been essential to the progress of our rollout and CSL has now manufactured and supplied 15.5 million doses of vaccine for use in Australia.

Last week, over 2 million doses of Pfizer and 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca were released for distribution.

Over the coming days, the TGA will conduct sample testing of over 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, along with 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine produced onshore by CSL, prior to releasing the vaccines for distribution.

Distributing the vaccine

With support from our Distribution Partners DHL and Linfox, more than 2.17 Million vaccine doses were delivered across Australia to metropolitan, rural and remote locations, along with 3,698 deliveries of consumables.

  • Ordering and Delivery. 99% of vaccine orders were completed last week with one order of Pfizer and three orders of AstraZeneca to be finalised on Monday.
  • Australia's assistance to the Pacific. To date, Australia has provided over 1.6 million doses (1,639,320 as at 23 August) of the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine to our Pacific neighbours. A supply is currently being built up to enable larger amounts to be deployed to South East Asia.

Administering the vaccine

This week, 1,811,728 doses were administered across the country, taking the total number of doses administered 17.1 million. It took 45 days to reach our first million doses of vaccine administered and 5 days for the most recent.

  • Total sites. This week we had a total of 5,289 general practices, 137 Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics, 2,594 Pharmacies and 159 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services delivering vaccines, along with 805 state and territory sites, taking the total number of vaccination sites across the country to 8,984. In the coming week, we will have 265 community pharmacies administering AstraZeneca.
  • Aged Care. With our vaccine workforce service providers, we continue to focus on those most at risk in our residential aged care facilities, and have now completed first and second dose visits to all 2569 facilities.
  • Disability. We continue to ramp up our visits to disability residents with complex needs who require in-reach services. More than 18,500 people with a disability in a residential setting have now received at least one dose of vaccine.


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