After months of anxious wait, the first 4000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine landed in South Australia at the weekend with a roll out date yet to be announced for regional SA.
On Monday, SA Health told Australian Community Media, owner of this masthead, that there is no timeline set yet for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine's arrival in rural and regional SA.
However, the state health department said they continue to work with the Federal Government and further ensure they will keep the public up to date with any new outcomes.
According to the state government, both Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre will be the first to roll out the inoculation.
Importantly, the vaccination will go to those people who have the highest risk of being exposed to or spreading the deadly virus.
Chiefly, 'Phase 1a' of the large-scale initiative will include frontline health care workers, quarantine and border workers, and residential aged care and disability staff and residents.
Health Minister Stephen Wade said vaccinations will be administered to this group and then in the coming months will be offered to those who want to be vaccinated throughout the state.
"Each week we will continue to receive more stock of the vaccine doses from the Commonwealth Government to enable us to vaccinate those in the next priority group," Minister Wade said.
Plans include vaccinating more than 12,000 people within the first three weeks of the roll out.
"I want to assure South Australians that the vaccine is completely safe, and has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)," the Minister stressed.
I want to assure South Australians that the vaccine is completely safe, and has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.Health Minister Stephen Wade
In response, chief public health officer, professor Nicola Spurrier said on Monday that the TGA has now assessed both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to be safe and effective for all people 18 years and older and both will prevent serious illness from COVID-19.
"While you may be wondering whether or not you really need the vaccine, particularly if you're young, fit and healthy, COVID-19 can be a nasty and potentially fatal disease at any age," she said.
Meanwhile, vaccination hubs, GP clinics and pharmacies, will also come online as the program rolls out to provide access to all South Australians.
"Through a staged approach to the vaccination rollout, we can make sure those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and those who have the highest risk of being exposed to, or spreading, the virus are vaccinated first - the phases of the program will ensure access to the vaccine for every South Australian who wants to be vaccinated so that no one misses out," Minister Wade added.
The COVID-19 vaccine roll out throughout South Australia will be undertaken in line with the Commonwealth Government's Vaccine Roadmap.
For more about COVID-19 vaccinations at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au