COVID-19

Aussie Pfizer vaccines to arrive within days

Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed that about 80,000 doses of the first Pfizer vaccines would be exported from Belgium, The Australian reports. They will arrive under tight security and be taken to a central distribution point.The Therapeutic Good Administration will then complete final testing of the vaccines before they are taken to hospital hubs and directly to aged care centres, with hospitals told to be ready to administer the first jabs from February 22.“I’ve spoken to the country head of Pfizer and have confirmed that the vaccines are on track for arrival by the end of the week,” Mr Hunt told The Australian. “Commencement of vaccinations – subject to arrival, quality and temperature controls – will take place in the last week of February.”THREE NEW CASES RECORDED IN VICTORIA Victoria recorded three new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, with two cases acquired locally and one in hotel quarantine who caught the virus overseas. Four new exposure sites have also been listed.There are now 22 active cases in Victoria.Queensland recorded no new cases overnight, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Sunday confirming the state had seven active cases.

The three new cases in Victoria emerged following 21,475 tests, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said.The state recorded one locally acquired case on Saturday.Four new locations have been added to the list of COVID-19 exposure sites in Victoria.The Department of Health and Human Services said on Sunday four places had been classified after being visited by a potentially infectious COVID-positive person.

The sites include a Woolworths, two swimming centres and a bakery.The new tier one exposure sites and times are:* Elite Swimming Pascoe Vale, Pascoe Vale, on February 8 between 5pm and 6pm* Woolworths Broadmeadows Central, Broadmeadows, on February 9 between 12.15pm and 12.30pm* Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, Broadmeadows, on February 9 between 12.30pm and 12.45pm* Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Centre, Pascoe Vale, on February 10 between 4pm and 7.30pm
When will I be able to get the vaccine?
Former Australian Medical Association Dr Tony Bartone says what unfolds in the next couple of days will be crucial.“With the number of exposure sites increasing day by day with the number of cases – even though small – and the contacts from those cases increasing, so we’ve now got primary contacts and secondary contacts well in excess of thousands of people being in that contact tracing net, we are really very much at the results of the testing over the next few days,” Dr Bartone told the Nine Network on Sunday.
NED-1859 State of our borders
NSWNSW has not closed its borders but strongly advises against all non-essential travel to Victoria. Anyone arriving in NSW from Victoria after 11.59pm on Friday, February 12, must remain at their home or place of residence for the five-day period announced by the Victorian Government. Anyone arriving in NSW by air, rail or road will also have to complete a declaration form if they are arriving from the greater Melbourne region.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAPersons who have been in Greater Melbourne on or after February 4 will not be allowed to enter SA unless an essential traveller or exempt. VICTORIAPeople from anywhere in Australia entering Victoria must apply for a permit to enter the state.Victoria has also reopened its border to the majority of NSW.The Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region of WA has now changed to an orange zone. People in orange zones can apply for a permit to enter Victoria provided they had not been in close contact with a coronavirus case and do not have any symptoms.On arrival in Victoria, orange zone permit holders must isolate at their home or accommodation, get a coronavirus test, and continue isolating until they have received a negative result.

NORTHERN TERRITORYThe Northern Territory have declared Melbourne and Tullamarine Airport a COVID hotspot. Anyone arriving must isolate at the Howard Spring quarantine facility or take the first return flight home.Anyone who is already in the Northern Territory and has been in Melbourne, including the airport, since February 7 must self isolate until they receive a negative result.All arrivals to the Northern Territory must: fill in a Border Entry Form, complete 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at your own expense, if you have recently been in an active declared COVID-19 hot spot. This includes children returning from a hotspot.QUEENSLANDThe Queensland border is now closed to Melbourne. If you have been in Greater Melbourne since January 29 and arrived into Queensland you should get tested – even if you do not have symptoms – and isolate until you receive a result.Specific areas of Western Australia have been declared COVID-19 hot spots.

WESTERN AUSTRALIAFrom 6pm Friday, February 12, WA introduced a hard border with Victoria for 72 hours, meaning no one can enter the state. Other interstate travellers are now permitted to enter WA, subject to meeting strict conditions. All people arriving into WA from overseas are subject to the Commonwealth Government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days in a State Quarantine Facility (hotel quarantine) at their own expense.TASMANIATasmania has shut its border to Victorians. Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk domestic region or premises in the 14 days before arriving in Tasmania are not permitted to enter Tasmania, unless approved as an Essential Traveller.If entry is approved, there may be a quarantine requirement in government-designated accommodation (fees can apply).AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORYThe ACT has introduced travel restrictions with Victoria. Victorians have been told not to travel to the ACT. ACT residents returning Victoria must complete an online declaration form and enter quarantine on arrival.
– with Kathryn Bermingham, Evin Priest, Sue Dunlevy, Tiffany Bakker, Erin Lyons

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