ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN today welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that production of the COVID-19 vaccine would begin next week in Melbourne.
“It is fabulous that the Government has been able to secure supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine through Australian manufacturing and ensure we are able to rapidly roll out the supplies once they receive TGA approval,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
However, Adjunct Professor Ward warned that domestic manufacturing was only one part of the picture for ensuring that Australians would be able to rapidly receive the vaccine.
“While the Government has put a significant emphasis on securing supplies for the vaccine, they also need to ensure that we have enough appropriately-trained nurses who are able to immunise our health care workers, our vulnerable populations and the broader community,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
Adjunct Professor Ward called on the Federal Government to fund immunisation education to 10,000 nurses, midwives and other health professionals and to provide free online refresher updates which include training specific to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“COVID-19 has created an urgent need for more nurses to be qualified as immunisers. Additional funding would ensure that when the vaccine becomes available, there are no issues in the distribution and administration of it to Australians,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“The scale of the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine would be larger than any previous immunisation program, and the Government must prepare now to ensure that there are no issues with its deployment.”
Media contact: Zac Smith, 0401 544 138.