21/02/2021 | Stephen Wade MLC

The first 4,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine touched down today in Adelaide.

After months of planning, the Federal Morrison Government has delivered the vaccines that the State Marshall Government’s plan will use to keep South Australians safe and our economy strong during the fight against COVID-19.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the doses will go to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre to enable vaccinations to begin tomorrow.

“Today we have received our first COVID-19 vaccine doses and tomorrow we will begin vaccinating those who have the highest risk of being exposed to, or spreading, the virus,” Minister Wade said.

“We have been eagerly anticipating this day since the vaccine first received approval as safe and effective to administer in Australia. We are about to embark on our State’s biggest ever peacetime logistical operation.

“We know there will be road bumps  but the same nimble, evidence based approach that kept us safe in the first year of the pandemic is what will deliver a world-class vaccination program.

“We are determined to keep South Australia safe and strong - we are determined to deliver these vaccines in a prioritised and timely manner to all South Australians.

“With the arrival of the first 4,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, we will be able to vaccinate and further protect frontline workers, including medi-hotel and airport red zone staff.  We have plans  to vaccinate more than 12,000 people within the first three weeks of our rollout.”

After arriving at Adelaide Airport, the vaccine will be transported under strict temperature conditions to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre hubs, where they will be stored in specialist Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers at -70 degrees Celsius.

“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.  We will start with Phase 1a - frontline health care workers, quarantine and border works, and residential aged care and disability staff and residents,” Minister Wade said.

“Vaccinations will be administered to this group – and then in the coming months progress through a carefully planned phased rollout to offer a vaccine to all those who want to be vaccinated throughout the state.   Our vaccination hubs, GP clinics and pharmacies, will all 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.”

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout throughout South Australia will be undertaken in line with the Commonwealth Government’s Vaccine Roadmap.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au