In great news for Tasmania, the COVID-19 vaccination program has officially begun at the Royal Hobart Hospital today, with a front-line worker receiving the first dose.
A Registered Nurse from the Infectious Disease Ward received the first dose at 8am, kicking off the program that will deliver around 1,000 doses this week to Tasmania’s high-priority, front-line population.
This is a momentous day for our State and another important milestone in the fight against COVID-19 that will be vital in allowing us to return to a more normal way of life into the future.
The first phase of the vaccination program, Phase 1A, will target people who are at heightened risk of getting COVID-19 or getting very sick from it. These are quarantine and border staff, and specific groups of front-line healthcare workers.
The aim is to have fully vaccinated Tasmania’s priority populations of around 14,000 people with the Pfizer vaccine in April.
Once the early phases of the roll out are completed, the vaccination program will be expanded to include other groups of the community, as per the Commonwealth’s guidelines.
The Commonwealth Government’s vaccination program has also begun, delivering vaccinations to aged and disability care residents and staff in the North West of the State.
There will be information provided publicly on further populations and groups to be vaccinated in later phases once that expert advice is finalised.
Importantly, Tasmanians can be assured the vaccines are safe, effective and free, and I encourage everybody listen to the experts - not only for yourself but for your family, friends and the entire Tasmanian community.
Getting ready for the roll out of the vaccine has been a momentous task for everyone involved in the Tasmanian Health Service, and I thank all the incredible staff who have been working tirelessly to get where we’re at today.
However, it’s important to remember the vaccine is not a silver bullet, and Tasmanians must continue to follow COVID-safe guidelines.
Remember to maintain physical distancing and good hand hygiene, stay home if you’re sick, and make sure you get tested even if you have the mildest of symptoms.
For more information on the vaccine, visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au