When will under 30s get their Covid vaccines? Latest news on the rollout

Why is there a delay between the first and second jabs?

Regulators have said the key to success will be to administer two full doses between four to 12 weeks apart, in order to give as many people the initial dose of the vaccine as possible, which offers some protection from the virus.

However, the rollout of second doses has been accelerated for over-50s following concerns about the spread of the Indian variant.

A study found a single dose of the Oxford vaccine was 76 per cent effective in fending off infection between 22 days and 90 days post-injection, rising to 82.4 per cent after a second dose at that stage. Researchers involved in the trial said the findings support the decision made by the UK to extend the interval between initial doses and booster doses of the shot to 12 weeks. 

While a different study found that a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine provided a “very high” level of protection from Covid-19 after just 21 days, without the need for a second “top-up” vaccination.

The UEA study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, looked at data from Israel where the vaccine has been rolled out. Scientists found the vaccine becomes 90 per cent effective after 21 days – supporting UK plans to delay the timing of a second jab.

Those who had received the Pfizer jab were 49 per cent less likely to transmit the virus to others in their households, while transmission fell by 38 per cent for those given the AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to data released on May 20 by PHE, a fortnight after the first dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, the chance of getting symptomatic Covid fell by nearly 60 per cent, with a second dose bringing this up to 90 per cent.

The PHE data examined cases of coronavirus among those aged 65 and over, who were in the first groups to get vaccinated.

While it is not yet known how long immunity lasts beyond 21 days without a second dose, researchers believe it is “unlikely” to majorly decline during the following nine weeks.

Read more: From transmission to efficacy, the Oxford, Pfizer and other Covid vaccines compared

How will I be invited to get the vaccine? 

The NHS will contact you when you are eligible for the vaccine and you will be invited to make an appointment.

If you are registered to a GP, you will be contacted by your surgery either over the phone, by text, email or post, in order to book in to receive a vaccine at your local vaccination centre.

You can still register at a GP surgery if you are not already registered to one, and it is advised that you make sure that your contact details are up to date to ensure that there are no delays. 

However, if you are over 50 and have still not taken up an offer of the vaccine, the government urges you to contact your GP.

Alternatively, you can check whether you are eligible and find an appointment by using the NHS vaccination booking service or by calling 119.

Three modes of delivery

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there would be “three modes of delivery”, with hospitals and mass vaccination centres along with pharmacists and GPs offering the jab.

In total, 250 active hospital sites, 89 vaccination centres, and around 1,600 local vaccination sites – including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, as well as pharmacies – have been set up to ensure every at-risk person has easy access to a vaccination centre, regardless of where they live.

Sites across the country, including the ExCel in London, Etihad Tennis Centre in Manchester and Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, have been transformed into vaccine hubs and have been administering vaccines from January 25.

Twickenham Stadium also opened up on May 31 as a mass vaccination centre, offering a vaccine to those over 18 who turned up on the day to prevent a waste in doses.

The Prime Minister has also announced the formation of an ‘antivirals taskforce’, which will be launched with the aim of developing at least two effective treatments for Covid by the end of the year.

What about the new variant of coronavirus? Will the vaccine still protect us?

The emergence of new Covid-19 strains, such as the South African, Indian and Brazilian variants, have threatened to undermine the vaccine and testing gains of recent months.

Now more than 20 cases of the so-called “Nepal variant”, responsible for disrupting travel with Portugal, have been discovered in the UK, officials have revealed.

Public Health England (PHE) said it was urgently investigating a new spike mutation, labelled K417N, to the existing Indian, or “Delta” variant of concern.

Although not yet formally designated even as a variant under investigation, it has been blamed by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, for his decision to remove Portugal from the green list, throwing thousands of holidays into disarray.

But vaccines appear to prevent 97 per cent of infections with the Indian variant, real world data suggests, with no known cases of death among those fully vaccinated in the UK. 

The Indian variant, now the dominant strain in the UK, has been estimated to be up to 60 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant Kent variant, said Professor Neil Ferguson on June 4.

This comes amid warnings from the Imperial College professor and Government advisor that the data is looking “more negative” than it was last week.

He said the Indian variant was “substantially more transmissible”, but added that the exact percentage could range from 30 to 100 per cent more depending on “assumptions and how you analyse the data”.

Prof Ferguson told BBC Radio 4’s Today that the new hospitalisation data points to the variant causing “more severe” disease, but said that most people hospitalised at the moment are unvaccinated.

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Untangling Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout timetable

Confused about our vaccine rollout target? Chances are you’re not alone. We’ve tracked more than a dozen targets, revisions and updates to Australia’s vaccine timetable.

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As Victorian COVID cases rise, Australia’s vaccine rollout labelled ‘complacent’ by Labor MP Ed Husic on Q+A

Victoria is going into a statewide seven-day lockdown because of a rise in coronavirus cases that Labor MP Ed Husic has partially blamed on the federal government’s complacency, when it comes to the nation’s vaccine rollout.

With case numbers currently at 26 in the state as it seeks to stem the outbreak, Q+A panellists were asked if Australia had failed in its vaccine rollout, and the Member for Chifley was adamant that was the case.

“Complacency has been the big enemy here,” Mr Husic said.

“A few weeks ago, right in this chair, Dr Norman Swan outlined how Pfizer approached the federal government in June last year, saying, ‘let’s do a deal’ [and] there were initial discussions in July and nothing happened and the deal was not sorted until November.”

Asked if Australia’s vaccine rollout had failed, he said: “We were told we’d be at the front of the queue and have four million people vaccinated by March, then it became October,  now we don’t know when it will happen.

“We haven’t really vaccinated that many people, 1.7 per cent in Australia and I hate to bring up the comparison because we do it so often but Kazakhstan, at 5 per cent.”


He said Victorians in particular would be wishing Australia had done better by now.

“If you’re in Victoria right now, you would have wished this was going faster and also wished that we’d had a quarantine system that can cope with the emerging variants that are coming up now, where we’ve got aerosol-based transmission,” Mr Husic said.

“And the issue is hotel quarantine is not capable to deal with this.”

Liberal MP Dave Sharma rejected that notion, saying Australia had used other measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“The vaccine provides protection against the disease but so do a number of other measures we have in place,” the Member for Wentworth said.

“We have border restrictions, hotel quarantine, testing and contact tracing and physical distancing and it’s important to remember we need multiple layers to protect ourselves from this disease.”

Pressed by host Hamish Macdonald on the vaccine rollout being behind schedule, Mr Sharma blamed extenuating circumstances such as AstraZeneca doses not being delivered, and Indian production going offline as that nation attempts to come to grips with its COVID disaster.

Mr Sharma then said vaccination alone could not be the answer for Australia.

“In the US, they have a high vaccination rate, they had 25,000 new cases yesterday, 600-plus deaths,” he said.

“In the UK, 2,500 cases yesterday.

Mr Sharma went on to defend Australia’s international border closures.

“We’ve had 910 deaths in Australia, 800 of those were from the second wave in Victoria last year. 

“When you look at the numbers in the US, over 600,000 deaths, the UK, 250,000, if we had anything like that here in Australia, we’d be talking 20,000 to 30,000 who would have lost their lives.”

Mr Husic said those comments from Mr Sharma were a representation of government complacency.

“We don’t have a mass information campaign urging people to go out and get the vaccination because our belief is that the with borders being closed, ‘she’ll be right’.

“That’s not good public health strategy.”

Watch the full episode on iview or via the Q+A Facebook page.

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Aussie state launches online booking to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine rollout

SYDNEY, May 24 (Xinhua) — A new online COVID-19 vaccination booking system will be open for appointments in the state of Western Australia (WA) on Tuesday as part of the government’s efforts to ramp up the vaccine rollout.

The system would provide online process for booking and confirming vaccination appointments at community and hospital-based vaccination clinics across the state.

When booking online, search results will display relevant clinics and dates based on the information entered by the user, along with the recommended vaccine and timing between doses.

The launch of the online bookings also coincides with a new cohort of eligible people, including younger adults with specified underlying medical conditions and people with disability, as part of the Phase 1B cohort, who will now have increased opportunities to be vaccinated through WA’s State-run clinics.

Previously people in this category were eligible to be vaccinated through the Commonwealth’s arrangements. However, they had fewer opportunities to get vaccinated due to limited supply of Pfizer vaccine.

“Making the vaccine available for more of the Phase 1B cohort through State-run clinics will assist in getting the vaccination rate up,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook expected more than 300,000 Western Australians with chronic conditions or disability would get vaccinated from this week.

In addition, community clinics will soon roll out Pfizer vaccine. Claremont Showgrounds clinic in early June will firstly offer the Pfizer vaccine to eligible people under 50 via phone or online booking. The AstraZeneca vaccine will also be available in the clinic through pre-booked appointments from May 31.

As of Sunday, more than 361,000 vaccines had been administered in WA, which were above the national average.

“Getting your COVID vaccine when you’re eligible is one of the best things you can do to keep your fellow Western Australians safe,” said McGowan.

“My priority is to ensure we have as many people vaccinated as possible which is why we need more people who are already eligible to roll up for WA and get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

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Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called for an urgent review into the Health Department to determine why disabled people have been discriminated against in the Morrison government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, phase 1a of the vaccine rollout.

“Today’s evidence to the Disability Royal Commission is conclusive: disabled people and our support workers have been excluded from receiving priority vaccines as part of phase 1a of the vaccine rollout,” Senator Steele-John said.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic so many people in our community have been living in fear and in isolation, with little information from the Morrison government about how we would be supported.

“Because of these ongoing failures we are now in a position where there are more Olympians who’ve been vaccinated than high-risk disabled people living in residential care!

“There should not be a single Health Department document relating to the pandemic that fails to mention disabled people, yet time and again we’ve seen our community not thought of, not factored in or actively excluded.

“When asked today if she was concerned that disabled people had been overlooked in the vaccine rollout, Health Department Associate Secretary Caroline Edwards stated that she could not comment. This response from a senior public servant is completely unacceptable.

“Quite simply, the treatment of disabled people throughout this pandemic has been discriminatory.”

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Pfizer rollout surges ahead in NSW

Pfizer rollout surges ahead in NSW

The rollout of the Pfizer vaccine to people aged between 40 and 49 is picking up speed in New South Wales with the health department receiving 110,000 expressions of interest in the last week alone.

“Last Thursday 16,000 people were invited to come get the jab and 9,000 people are already booked in that 40-49 category alone and this morning some of those people are receiving those jabs,” she said.

“That is really good progress and I want to thank the community for their enthusiasm and their patientce.”

Ms Berejiklian’s sentiments were echoed by Health Minister Brad Hazzard who reinforced the NSW government push for people to receive a vaccine

“That is the one weapon we have to fight back against this virus,” he said adding “at some stage the world will get back into Australia and we must be prepared for it”.

“My strong advice is get out and get vaccinated … Now it’s up to us. We’ve all got to do our bit to keep Australia safe.”

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Concerns about slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout to vulnerable Aussies

Fewer than 1000 disability care residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, new figures show.

The disability royal commission on Monday heard from senior counsel assisting Kate Eastman that the vaccine rollout was an “abject failure”.

But she said she understood the commission would need to hear the federal government’s explanation about the low inoculation rates.

“These are people who represent some of our most vulnerable members of the population,” Ms Eastman said.

“The Australian government rollout of vaccines to people with disability in residential care – and these are people who represent some of the most vulnerable people in our population – has been an abject failure.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt said 999 disability residents had been vaccinated as of midday on Monday.

A further 1526 support workers had also received a jab.

Under the government’s vaccine rollout plan, they were among the first priority group.

Mr Hunt said now that 60 per cent of residential aged care facilities had received a second visit, they were moving into the next stage of the disability rollout.

“Those teams are being redeployed into disability (care facilities),” he said.

“It’s an intended sequential process and it’s based on risk, and we’re following that advice.”

He said people could also get vaccinated through providers, primary health networks and GPs.

The royal commission heard that at May 6, government figures for people with a disability in residential care showed:

– In South Australia, just six people had received a vaccine, with only two receiving two doses

– In Tasmania, just eight people had received a vaccine, with only two receiving two doses

Ms Eastman said the figures did not include people with a disability in residential care or support workers who had made their own arrangements to get vaccinated.

Royal Australasian College of Physicians president John Wilson called for greater vaccine data among the disability sector amid concerns about the slow pace.

“The government’s daily vaccination updates do not provide comprehensive data about the progress of vaccination of people with disabilities,” Professor Wilson said.

“This may be masking the very low numbers of vaccinations that have been delivered in disability care settings.”

Opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said priority groups were supposed to be vaccinated by Easter – six weeks ago.

“Not even 1 per cent of Australians living in disability care have been fully vaccinated,” Mr Butler said.

“Barely 4 per cent have even received a single dose.”

In total, more than 3.1 million vaccine doses have now been administered across Australia, including a big jump of more than 436,000 last week.

Australia’s drug regulator is expected to clear a further 352,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine, which arrived in Australia on Monday, and another million doses of AstraZeneca in coming days.

Zero cases of community transmission were recorded on Monday.

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Queen Elizabeth II jokes with sculptor, discusses vaccine rollout in first video call to Australia

Meeting with Queen Elizabeth often involves a large entourage and plenty of pomp and ceremony — but there was little of that, and some light humour, in a video call to Australia.

The Queen made the call to South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, Governor Hieu Van Le and sculptor Robert Hannaford on Wednesday last week.

Footage of the video call was released by Buckingham Palace this morning.

Governor Van Le said he understood that it was the Queen’s first video call to Australia.

“We are so honoured to be receiving this call from you,” he said.

The Queen expressed delight at her likeness in the statue, created by the South Australian sculptor, which has been unveiled at Government House in Adelaide.

The Queen joins a video call with South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le and Premier Steven Marshall.(



During the call, Mr Hannford presented the Queen with a scale model, or maquette, of the statue.

“That’s very kind … I’m glad it’s not quite as big as the original,” she said.

Mr Marshall briefed the Queen on the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations, which are being administered to frontline workers, South Australia’s response to the pandemic and the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The Premier said the state was “getting almost back to a sense of normality”.

“We have the Adelaide Festival of Arts on at the moment, we have the Adelaide Fringe on … I think this year they could be the largest in the world again,” he said.

The Queen said it sounded “very good”.


Artist pleased with the Queen’s response to work

Mr Hannaford told ABC Radio Adelaide’s Ali Clark and David Bevan he travelled to the UK before the COVID-19 pandemic hit for a sitting.

“My wife and I were invited to Windsor Castle for a sitting with the Queen for the sculpture,” Mr Hannaford said.

He had a brief sitting of 15 minutes with the Queen, which he said turned into about half an hour.

“I had time to do five different drawings of her in the round,” he said.

“On the Zoom the other night, she said it looked lovely.

“At the time during the sittings I had an opportunity to have a bit of a chat with her.

“It means a lot … she is probably the most famous person I have ever portrayed.

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The man behind Victoria’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout answers your questions about the shot

So far, more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Australia — well short of the 40 million doses needed to fully inoculate adults across the country.

As more people become eligible, many of you have questions about when you should get vaccinated and the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

ABC Radio Melbourne put some of these queries to infectious diseases physician and epidemiologist Professor Ben Cowie, who is advising the state government on the vaccine rollout in Victoria.

No. While Professor Cowie recommends getting specific advice from your GP or haematologist, as a general rule a history of blood clots does not put you at greater risk of developing the rare clotting condition associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“The type of clotting that occurs with AstraZeneca vaccine is a specific reaction to the vaccine which is mediated by the immune system we think — that is part of the reason why it occurs most commonly amongst younger people,” Professor Cowie said.

“There really is no evidence that any form of underlying clotting disorder (apart from a very rare allergy to an anti-coagulant called heparin) is associated with an increased risk of clotting from the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Yes – but you might be waiting for a while.

In April the Commonwealth government announced it had secured an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The bad news? They won’t arrive until the end of the year.

“That is clearly after winter and we want to have as many people vaccinated as we can before winter,” Professor Cowie said.

He is encouraging people who are eligible for the AstraZeneca to get vaccinated sooner rather than later to better protect themselves and the broader community.

“The best vaccine is the one that is available right now.”

After more than a year of closed borders, social distancing and a long lockdown in Victoria, Australia is in the fortunate position of having next to no community COVID-19 transmission.

But Professor Cowie says there is no guarantee that will continue.

“By having as many people vaccinated now as we possibly can … that helps prevent the risk of COVID re-entering our population and spreading,” he said.

“It also means that if we do have transmission that reoccurs in our community we will have fewer people to try and vaccinate as quickly as we possibly can to prevent that from becoming out of control.”

Professor Cowie said health authorities were being “extremely careful” to ensure they had adequate supply of the vaccines and could get their second dose at the optimal time.

For the AstraZeneca vaccine, the product information says the second dose can be administered between four and 12 weeks after the first dose.

However clinical trials have shown that people who received their second dose on or just beyond the 12-week mark were better protected against COVID-19.

So, if you happen to get your second dose on week 13 or 14, you are still just as protected.


If you are under 50 and eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine because of your work or an underlying medical condition, you can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Professor Cowie said if you want to be vaccinated through your GP it would be a good idea to call ahead and explain your situation. In Victoria you can also book into a state-run, high-volume vaccination centre.

This one is easy – yes, you should wait 14 days between a dose of flu vaccine and a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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COVID-19 vaccination rollout in remote Indigenous communities may fail unless more consultation is sought, experts say

There is concern the COVID-19 vaccine may be refused in remote Northern Territory communities after a mammoth effort to get it there.

Gurindji man Charlie King told ABC Radio Darwin he identified some resistance when he brought up the topic in an unnamed community.

“There’s some people saying simply, ‘We’re not going to do it’, because they don’t understand how serious this virus is,” he said.

“The idea of sticking a needle in their arm is not what they want to do.

Mr King said he did not see any messaging ahead of the vaccine.

The Territory’s Health Minister Natasha Fyles has taken note and says she is working on messaging.

The Federal Health Department said it was “committed to providing timely, credible and accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccines to all people in Australia”.

Consultation is key

Rolling out the vaccine quickly and keeping it cool in the remote NT would be a challenge.

Tiwi cultural elder Pirrawayingi, 67, from Pirlangimpi on Melville Island off the NT coast is in favour of the vaccine but feels more consultation is needed.

Pirrawayingi from Pirlangimpi on the Tiwi Islands is calling for more consultation ahead of the vaccine.(

ABC News: Nadia Daly


“We understand the good intentions of the government, but they still need to consult,” he said.

A ‘fear’ of the unknown

Charles Darwin University Larrakia academic-in-residence and elder Aunty Bilawara Lee is an expert in cross-cultural communication.

“In the many different communities across the Top End, I think there’s a general fear of having strange things put into your body,” she said.

“It’s just that it’s new and I guess they need some more time to be reassured that it’s safe and of benefit.”

lady reading from a lectern into a microphone at an event
Larrakia elder Aunty Bilawara Lee.(

Supplied: Menzies School of Health Research


Aunty B said she was “very willing” to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, however many Indigenous people were fearful about having no choice in the matter.

“Some Aboriginal people, like myself, are very willing to step up and have the vaccine, and others may have ongoing fears.

“There will be many who are quite experienced with vaccinations, because they’ve had to do it with their families and their children over many years.”

Catholic Church supports vaccine rollout

The dominant religion in the Northern Territory is Catholicism, with about 20 per cent of the population identifying as Catholic in the 2016 census.

Catholic Bishop of Darwin, the Right Reverend Charles Gauci said he had a responsibility to ensure his flock were well-advised but was respectful of those in disagreement with his stance.

Bishop Charles Gauci smiles and looks off into the distance inside Darwin's St Mary's cathedral.
Bishop Charles Gauci in St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral in Darwin.(

ABC News: Jesse Thompson


“Some people have contacted me, including some of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, who were worried because at least one of the vaccines had been tried on some tissue that had come from aborted fetuses in the past,” he said.

“The church has made their regulation that this is remote enough — it’s not as if they just aborted a fetus and took the tissues.

Bishop Gauci said other concerns from his congregation had been brought to his attention, including the speed of the vaccine’s development.

“They’re worried about maybe side effects because of the newness of the vaccine,” he said.

Advisory group consulted: Health department

Dan Baschiera from the northern Darwin suburb of Nightcliff helped with the Ebola vaccinations in Sierra Leone with Médecins Sans Frontières in 2014.

Mr Baschiera said effective community messaging before the vaccine was made available was important for a successful uptake.

A man with a moustache and a white polo shirt leans on a ramp at Charles Darwin University.
Dan Baschiera worked with the humanitarian effort in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.(

Charles Darwin University: Fiona Morrison


“As people are lining up, we have guys using megaphones to communicate about what we are doing, and what it will prevent happening,” he said.

“And once it started to work, we put big signs up on the road to let the population know there was a greater percentage of people surviving than dying and gave them the percentages literally on a day-by-day basis.

NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles told the ABC that discussions were underway about how to best communicate with remote communities about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Natasha Fyles wearing a pink shirt.
NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles.(

ABC News


“We’ve been looking at campaigns and information that Health can share with communities, so they understand the importance of getting the vaccine,” she said.

Federal Health said it had consulted with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Advisory Group when developing communication and advertising materials to ensure they were culturally safe and appropriate.

“Vaccine communication materials are developed in line with market research and expert advice provided by the advisory group,” a spokesperson said.

“The COVID-19 vaccines’ advertising campaign is in the market and it includes resources adapted for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.”

Vaccine information is available in Australian languages on the department’s website.

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