Tasmanians have worked hard throughout COVID-19 and taken action to keep themselves and others safe when it mattered most.
There is no doubt that the greatest safeguard in the fight against COVID will be the vaccination.
While it will not be the silver bullet, it will be our strongest shield to keeping our community and loved ones safe, and importantly returning to a way of life where there are less restrictions and more freedom.
That is why I urge Tasmanians to please roll up your sleeves when it’s your turn, because by protecting yourself, you’re protecting your loved ones and the community.
We remain on track for the first batch of the Pfizer vaccine to arrive in Tasmania in the last week of February with the first doses being delivered at the Royal Hobart Hospital to priority groups within a day of arrival.
The first people in this group will be:
* Vaccinating teams – including nurses and support staff;
* Staff at Testing Clinics, including healthcare workers collecting samples, traffic control at testing sites, security and on-site administration;
* Staff who work at public and private laboratories involved in the collection and processing of samples;
* Border and quarantine facilities staff, including nurses, hotel security, cleaners, social workers and food and beverage handlers;
* Emergency Department staff at public and private hospitals;
* ICU staff at public and private hospitals; and,
* Key ambulance staff.
Residential aged care, disability care residents and workers will be vaccinated by the Commonwealth Government.
The list of individuals in the priority groups above is being finalised this week in consultation with employers, both public and private.
The people selected will be contacted directly early next week to arrange their two appointments at least 21 days apart for the two doses which will be required to give them the best protection.
The aim is to have fully vaccinated Tasmania’s priority populations of around 14,000 people with the Pfizer vaccine by mid-April.
At this stage, we estimate the wider Tasmanian community will start to be vaccinated from late April.
The vaccines are safe, effective and free. If you have any concerns or doubts about the vaccines, please find out by checking reliable sources of information, listen to the experts and make an informed decision not only for yourself but your family, friends and the wider Tasmanian community.
You can also visit our dedicated vaccination page at: coronavirus.tas.gov.au/vaccination-information/covid-19-vaccination which has FAQs and other useful information to help inform your decision.