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According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, Australians must be prepared to consider any spoiled doses during the vaccine program.

The second shipment from Pfizer has arrived in Australia, and next week another is planned.

According to Mr Hunt, this will allow Australia to dispense 80,000 doses per week for the next two weeks before AstraZeneca arrives in mid-March to double the dose rate per week.

But he cautioned that some hiccups would occur.

He added that Australia had a “strong” program for vaccine safety, including a Department of Health operations center.

Global demand for vaccines placed pressure on supply, but Mr. Hunt said representatives of Pfizer gave “good, strong confidence” to the government in continued deliveries over the coming weeks.

“Inevitably over the course of a mass vaccination program at some point there will be a truck that has an engine problem, or somebody may drop a vial, and I think we need to be aware of this sort of thing,” he said.

“There’ll be the normal course of human events, things which in a flu season would happen every day and which would be unremarked upon, but because of the focus on this it’s understandable.”

He added that Australia had a “strong” program for vaccine safety, including a Department of Health operations center.

Global demand for vaccines placed pressure on supply, but Mr. Hunt said representatives of Pfizer gave “good, strong confidence” to the government in continued deliveries over the coming weeks.

He suggested that, in addition to the distribution of AstraZeneca by mid-March, the locally manufactured CSL AstraZeneca vaccines will raise the amount of available doses to one million per week.

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By the end of October, the government plans to make vaccines available to the entire country.

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