Government rolls out $24 million ad campaign to encourage vaccine shots

A new advertising campaign is being rolled out to encourage Australians to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Jan 27, 2021, updated Jan 27, 2021
Dr Nick Coatsworth heads up the new vaccine advertising campaign. (Photo: ABC, Nicholas Haggarty)

Dr Nick Coatsworth heads up the new vaccine advertising campaign. (Photo: ABC, Nicholas Haggarty)

The $24 million campaign will run across traditional and social media and provide information about the safety, efficacy and availability of vaccines.

It details how vaccines will be rolled out to priority groups including the elderly, disabled Australians and frontline workers.

Dosage requirements are also explained.

The campaign comes after the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine as the first to be used in Australia.

The vaccine rollout is expected to start in late February. The Queensland Government today announced six distribution hubs: Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, north and south Brisbane.

In Queensland, hotel quarantine and infectious disease workers will be the first vaccinated, followed by those in aged care and disability services.

Health Minister Greg Hunt described Australia as a vaccine nation, saying the country had one of the highest jab take-up rates in the world.

“I am confident, given Australia’s high vaccination coverage rates, that Australians will take up a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in equally high numbers,” he said on Wednesday.

“This campaign will help every Australian to understand how the vaccine works and how it will keep them and their family safe.”

The federal government has dismissed concerns about possible delays in getting vaccine supplies to Australia.

Pharmaceutical companies are locked in a dispute with the European Union over supplies.

The EU is planning to slap export controls on vaccines produced within its borders.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says that will not affect 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine produced in Belgium that Australia has purchased, or other doses of the AstraZeneca jab.

“Based on what we know today, that is not expected to change the arrival dates for those vaccines,” he told ABC radio.

Mr Frydenberg is opposed to the EU putting on export controls.

“Obviously we would not welcome that because as the World Health Organisation has said, the vaccine needs to be spread as broadly and as widely as possible.”

Meanwhile, quarantine-free travel from New Zealand will remain suspended until at least Thursday, prompting a rebuke from Kiwi leader Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Ardern has told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that she is disappointed by the decision.

“If we are to enter into a trans-Tasman bubble we will need to give people confidence that we won’t see closures at the border that happen with very short notice over incidents we believe can be well managed domestically,” she told reporters.

The travel bubble was burst after a woman in New Zealand tested positive for a highly contagious virus strain found in South Africa.

It was the first local case in New Zealand in more than two months.

Australia has recorded several days of zero locally acquired coronavirus cases, with a trickle of new cases in hotel quarantine.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd has warned coronavirus vaccines will not trigger wholesale changes to restrictions when the rollout ramps up in coming months.

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