Australians aged over 70 to be prioritised for COVID vaccines – but anyone will be able to be vaccinated

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Australians over 70 will likely be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Federal Government’s roll out of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Herald Sun reported the planned strategy would see the Australian population broken up into 12 separate age groups where the oldest would be the first to get the vaccine.

Acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly appeared to confirm this at a press conference yesterday.

“Essentially those that are more likely to get serious illness – and we know that mostly in the older age group – but also people with certain chronic diseases,” he said.

“The second priority will be people that are putting themselves in the front-line and caring for people that may have disease…the third priority will be essential workers that are needed to keep our society going.”

According to the Herald Sun report, prison staff and prisoners will also take priority to avoid outbreaks in Australian jails.

Meanwhile, children under 18 aren’t expected to get the vaccine before the end of 2021 because regulatory approval for use on children has not been submitted.

However, Dr Kelly made it clear that anyone in Australia who wants the vaccine will receive it.

“Our aim for 2021 is to have anyone in Australia who wants to get this vaccine vaccinated.”

The first vaccinations are expected to be administered by March 2021, with the schedule for vaccinations expected to be set in January before the roll out commences.