Big changes to Aussie vaccine rollout imminent with new option soon to be available

Duncan MurrayNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Australians may soon have more vaccine choice, with the Novavax jab expected to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Lieutenant General John Frewen, who is the co-ordinating the nation’s vaccine rollout, told 4BC some people may have been holding out for the Novavax to become available.

“We think that approval is imminent, and again we are ready to distribute it across the country,” Lieutenant General Frewen said.

“We think there’s around 1-2 per cent of the population that have been holding out for Novavax.

“That’s the choice they have made, but once it’s approved it will be available ... they will be able to get it as quickly as they can.”

Camera IconHead of Australia’s vaccine rollout, Lieutenant General John Frewen, says he expects Novavax to be approved by the TGA soon. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Novavax was developed using older, protein-based technology that some members of the public may feel more comfortable taking.

Australia already has a deal in place for 51 million doses of Novavax to be available immediately should it get the nod by relevant health bodies.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Tuesday that adding the new vaccine to the government’s roster would result in more of the total population being vaccinated.

“If that’s 200,000 Australians who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to be vaccinated but feel more comfortable, then that will have been significant,” Mr Hunt said.

“And those doses that we don’t use, we will absolutely share with our Pacific neighbours.”

Camera IconFederal Health Minister, Greg Hunt said introducing the Novavax vaccine could see as many as an additional 200,000 people get vaccinated. NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

Lieutenant General Frewen also told 4BC the possibility of a fourth shot - or second booster - was being considered for Australians.

He said if that went ahead, there would be more than enough supply to go around, adding that more booster appointment slots were becoming available as time went on.

While some people have had difficulty finding the right time and location to get a booster, he urged the public to consider making use of larger vaccination centres, not just pharmacies and GPs.

“I understand it has been a little bit frustrating for some, but the booster numbers have been amazing - we are seeing around a quarter of a million Australians everyday getting their boosters,” he said.

Originally published as Big changes to Aussie vaccine rollout imminent with new option soon to be available

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