Australia approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine had been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for Australians aged 16 years and over, Morrison told reporters, noting it was a year since the first coronavirus case was detected in the country.

Vaccination of priority groups is expected to begin in late February, at 80,000 doses per week, Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters.

Two doses will be required - at least 21 days apart, a government statement said. Australia will administer both doses of the vaccine at the recommended time.

Video Transcript

SCOTT MORRISON: Just earlier today, the therapeutic goods administration, Professor Skerritt, announced that they had approved the Pfizer vaccine for people aged over 16 years here in Australia. I note that this is not an emergency approval, as has been done in some other jurisdictions around the world. This is a formal approval under the ordinary processes of the TGA. And we are one of the first countries in the handful of countries to have gone through that comprehensive and thorough process here in Australia to ensure the approval of that vaccine.

GREG HUNT: I spoke last night with the regional and Australian heads of Pfizer. And they indicated, as the prime minister said, that we are likely to have, on their shipping advice which they've now been able to confirm, first vaccines in Australia ready for distribution in late February, so within the guidance that we previously provided. That's likely to start with approximately 80,000 doses per week, if not more. But let's be more conservative on that.