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Bunbury aged care residents will start receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 next week. Image: Lisa Ferdinando

Bunbury’s aged care residents will be among the first in the country to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when the national rollout begins next week.

The federal government yesterday announced which parts of the country will receive first access to Australia’s limited supply of vaccines, with aged care residents in six South West locations to start their vaccination programs from Monday.

Bethanie Fields, Bethanie Elanora, Regis Bunbury, Wattle Hill Lodge and Bunbury Gardens aged care facilities are set to be among more than 240 across the country to start administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to their residents.

Residents at Tuia Lodge in Donnybrook will also start receiving the vaccine from Monday. More than 30,000 vaccines are expected to be administered in the first week.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the rollout will prioritise those who need COVID-19 protection the most.

“The vaccination program will save and protect lives. [It] will prevent serious illness. That is our primary goal.”

Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck said those receiving the vaccine and their families should seek help if they have trouble understanding the vaccine rollout program.

“The vaccine providers will be providing information about the vaccine and seeking consent from aged care residents or their substitute decision makers to ensure they understand the risks of benefits of receiving the vaccine.”

The first stage of the country’s vaccine rollout became possible after more than 142,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Sydney from Europe on Monday. The jab will be supplemented by the locally manufactured AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine, which is expected to be rolled out from late next month.

The rollout of the vaccination program to all Australian aged and disability care homes is expected to take six weeks.

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