Australia news live: Covid vaccine rollout suffers major setback as under-50s told to avoid AstraZeneca

Vaccine rollout faces delays as authorities scramble to secure alternatives to AstraZeneca for under-50s over blood clot fears. Follow updates live

11.09pm BST

Chief medical officer Paul Kelly seems reasonably confident that the vaccine rollout delay won’t drastically change Australia’s ability to live normally:

The Australian Health Protection Committee with the Chief Health Officer group that I chair has had really strong and meaningful and very good discussions about our reactions to outbreaks and so forth, including the issue of border closures and that information will go to National Cabinet today and will be discussed by the Premiers and the Prime Minister and I‘ll be there to assist them.

11.07pm BST

Paul Kelly has been asked if Australia needs to be making additional deals with international vaccine producers in order to make up for the shortfall:

All of those things are on the table. We are looking at all of those options right now.

We know that Novavax, we have 51 million doses on order, but that’s not yet approved by the TGA. We don’t have the final components of their clinical trials but, when we do, the TGA, as it did with the other two vaccines we have been using in the last couple of months will absolutely expedite that matter and as soon as Novavax is ready to supply to Australia we will be going through those processes.

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