Australia is set to start manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine this month as the government reveals its vaccine rollout plan.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told The Herald Sun the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was likely to begin being manufactured by vaccine manufacturer CSL in November.
Hunt said the government is also set to buy into two additional COVID-19 vaccines, meaning Australians will have access to four types of vaccines.
The health minister also revealed healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses and aged care workers, and those who are most vulnerable could begin receiving the vaccine from March.
Next will be what the government deems “essential workers” but could include transport workers and teachers.
All other Australians could receive the jab in the months after, to the end of 2021 – around the same time the government hopes to re-open international borders.
“The expectation is that everybody who sought vaccination would be vaccinated well within 2021,” Hunt told the newspaper.
“Our goal is to have the borders open, subject to vaccination and health advice, by the end of 2021.”
Hunt said the government is aiming for herd immunity – or about two-thirds of the population to be vaccinated.
He added anti-vaxxers were not a concern.
“Australians have been great vaccinators and whilst there is noise from the anti-vaxxers I think they’re making more noise but having less impact,” he said.
“The indications are already that there’s very, very high public interest in being vaccinated.”
Vaccinations are set to be free, but not mandatory, and it’s likely two doses will be required.
The two doses are set to be received 30 days apart.
Australia’s immunisation register is set to record every jab given to an Australian, enabling the government to track any issues that may arise.
Those who choose to receive a vaccine will be asked to report any adverse effects.
The plan is subject to the approval of National Cabinet, which is set to meet again on November 13.