Around 240 aged care facilities in nearly 200 towns across the country will be some of the first places to have the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine rolled out, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says.

Key points:

  • Vaccines will start being given from next Monday
  • Quarantine and border workers are the first priority, followed by aged care and disability residents and workers
  • The first 142,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Australia earlier this week

The rollout will begin next Monday, after the first batch of Pfizer doses arrived in Sydney earlier this week.

“It has to start somewhere and it has to finish somewhere, but this is the beginning of the process,” Mr Hunt said.

“Those towns cover all of Australia, commencing in Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory.

“Here in the ACT, towns such as Weston and Narrabundah.

“We know that in Tasmania it could be in Burnie or in Somerset … all of these are on the list, amongst others.”

He said there would also be 16 “Pfizer vaccination hubs” at hospitals in major cities nationwide.

Mr Hunt said the initial aged care facilities were carefully selected by health authorities.

“They have done it on a risk basis for the country as well as making sure there’s diversity across urban and rural [areas],” he said.

If you scroll to the bottom of this article you can find the full list of towns receiving the vaccine and each location of the individual Pfizer hubs.

Health Department boss and former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the hubs would be for quarantine workers, who he described as the “single most high-risk group at the moment”.

“We believe that vaccinating the quarantine and border workers will substantially protect them from transmission, we hope, but certainly from getting symptomatic COVID,” Professor Murphy said.

“That’s our single highest priority in the first few weeks.”

The first phase of the government’s vaccine rollout is called Phase 1a and includes:

  • Border and quarantine workers
  • Frontline healthcare workers
  • People living and working in residential aged and disability care settings

The frontline healthcare workers category covers clinical staff in emergency departments, testing lab staff, paramedics, respiratory clinic workers and people working in other testing settings.

Like overseas, healthcare workers will be some of the first to receive the vaccine.(AP: Stephanie Lecocq)

The Federal Government is working directly with the operators of residential aged and disability care to work out the logistics of the rollout, such as when the teams will come in and arranging consent of residents and workers.

Professor Murphy described the coming weeks as an unprecedented logistical challenge, but a “really, really exciting time”.

“There are so many players involved and there’s so much planning.”

Professor Murphy said authorities were “extraordinarily grateful” to everyone involved who had been asked to “do so much, so quickly”.

Both he and Mr Hunt said that there were contingency plans in place to vaccinate at-risk people if required, if there were to be a COVID-19 outbreak or hotspot.

“If there were a significant outbreak in a particular part of the city, then we would activate an AHPPC meeting and, if they recommended a ring vaccination process for a group of people or an area, then we would undertake that,” Professor Murphy said.

See below for the full list of towns and areas with facilities receiving the vaccine next week:

Pfizer vaccination hubs:

  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (NSW)
  • Westmead Hospital (NSW)
  • Liverpool Hospital (NSW)
  • Monash Medical Centre Clayton (VIC)
  • Sunshine Hospital (VIC)
  • Austin Health (VIC)
  • University Hospital Geelong (VIC)
  • Gold Coast University Hospital (QLD)
  • Cairns Hospital (QLD)
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital (QLD)
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital (SA)
  • Flinders Medical Centre (SA)
  • Perth Children’s Hospital (WA)
  • Royal Hobart Hospital (TAS)
  • The Canberra Hospital (ACT)
  • Royal Darwin Hospital (NT)