COVID-19: Australia approves AstraZeneca vaccine, prepares for immunisation rollout

Australia has approved it's second COVID-19 vaccine, a month after approving the Pfizer vaccine.

On Tuesday the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) gave the AstraZeneca vaccination the greenlight, approving its use for people aged 18 and over.

For people over the age of 65, the vaccination should be decided on a "case-by-case" basis, according to the TGA.

While people over this age demonstrated a strong immune response to the vaccine, the TGA says there were not enough infected people in the clinical trials to determine the overall efficacy.

Initial supplies of the vaccine will be imported before they can be manufactured locally, reports 7 News. It's expected the first doses will arrive from overseas in early March, and the CSL facility in Melbourne will be ready to make the vaccines from late-March onwards. 

"Australians can be confident that the TGA's review process of this vaccine was rigorous and of the highest standard," the regulator said in a statement on Tuesday.

The AstraZeneca vaccine follows the Pfizer one, which will be administered to Australians from Monday after the first shipment arrived.

Like New Zealand, those considered high risk, such as hotel quarantine workers, frontline health staff and elderly people are first in line to be vaccinated.