Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 years and older will now be part of one of the earliest phases of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

Initially, only Indigenous people aged over 55 were included in Phase 1b of the roll-out strategy, along with anyone over 70 years old, high-risk workers and younger adults with an underlying condition. 

Phase 1b priority populations are likely to receive the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, once it passes the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous approval process.

Head of clinical governance with the Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, Dr Andrew Webster says the recent change reflects the difficult task of reaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote and regional areas.

Dr Andrew Webster on the national roll-out strategy.