Over the last week, a few changes, tweaks and inclusions were made to who is eligible for the vaccine rollout, as well as more details on when some people are likely to get the jab.
As well as the millions of Australians still waiting for a vaccine, children are now set to be added to the queue.
They’re not the only ones — there’s also been other changes for pregnant women.
Here’s the latest on who can get what vaccine, and when.
12 to 15-year-olds
Australia’s medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine in 12 to 15-year-olds yesterday, but the vaccine still can’t be used in that age group just yet.
It’s up to the country’s expert group on vaccines, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), to give it the final tick of approval.
At the moment, ATAGI is considering whether to give Pfizer to younger children that have other medical conditions.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said it could be approved for that particular group within weeks, and potentially mean jabs in arms from early August.
“So the same as other people with underlying medical conditions given immediate access to Pfizer, and if that is the case we will do that.”
While the Health Minister suggested a potential start date, ATAGI has indicated lack of supply could push back the timeline.
So what about healthy 12 to 15-year-olds?
They’re expected to have access to the Pfizer vaccine later this year if ATAGI approves it.
“[ATAGI] will look at international evidence over the course of the period, most probably reaching a decision in the mid to late August period,” Minister Hunt said.
Schools will be asked to help with the vaccine rollout for children, as well as GPs.
Younger Australians are likely to get access to the Pfizer vaccine in late September or early October, however no decision has been made on whether a specific age group will get it at that time.
Until now, the rollout has been opening up to Australians gradually.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said they’re looking at whether to open it up to everyone under the age of 40 from late September, or just initially to those between 30 to 39.
Some jurisdictions have already gone their own way and are not waiting for the national guidelines to change.
Pregnant women are now considered a priority group in the vaccine rollout and have been moved to phase 1B.
At the beginning of the vaccine rollout the advice was that women who were pregnant and at a high risk of catching COVID-19, or who had medical conditions that might them more vulnerable to the disease, should consider getting vaccinated.
In June, ATAGI updated its recommendation, saying that pregnant women should be offered Pfizer’s jab at any stage of their pregnancy.
However, women under the age of 40 in many states were not eligible under the current national guidelines.
But on Friday, ATAGI confirmed that pregnant women have now been added to phase 1B, with information being sent to GPs saying the change was effective immediately.
It means that pregnant women, no matter their age, can now get the Pfizer vaccine.
Aged care residents and staff
Despite being at the front of the queue, many aged care residents and staff are yet to receive their second dose.
According to the latest figures, 82 per cent of aged care residents are fully vaccinated.
National Cabinet recently agreed to make it mandatory for workers in aged care to receive at least their first dose by the middle of September.
On the current figures, 47 per cent of workers have received their initial jab and nearly 29 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Lieutenant General John James Frewen, the man in charge of the vaccine rollout task force, has confirmed the government wants to go further than the National Cabinet goal and have all workers fully vaccinated in less than two months.
“Aged care workers is one of our top priorities inside the task force right now and we have developed a very specific plan to ensure that we get all aged care workers fully vaccinated by mid-September,” he said.