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Australia begins coronavirus vaccine rollout

Australia begins coronavirus vaccine rollout
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Australia has begun its coronavirus vaccine rollout, Reuters reports, with frontline healthcare workers and senior citizens receiving the first round of doses.

According to the news outlet, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, was among a group of 20 people who received the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer before the broader rollout began on Monday. Sixty thousand doses are expected to be administered by the end of this week, Reuters reports. Batches of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine are expected to reach Australia in the next two weeks.

According to Reuters, Morrison called the vaccine rollout a "game changer," noting the rollout is being considered one of the most complex operations in Australia's history due to the extreme sub-zero temperatures needed to transport and store the Pfizer vaccine.

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“Today is a real milestone in our collective response to tackle COVID-19 and bring things as rapidly under control as we can,” acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Reuters reports that the majority of Australia’s population of 25 million is expected to be immunized with the AstraZeneca vaccine, with vaccinations expected to complete by October of this year.

According to data from the World Health Organization, Australia has confirmed 28,920 coronavirus cases and 909 deaths. Australia has not reported any coronavirus deaths since the end of 2020.