As the UK, US and countries like Israel, Bahrain, Denmark and China are swiftly implementing immunisation programmes against coronavirus, Australians are wondering about their delay for the Covid-19 jab.
As 2020 ended, and the new year opened with a focus on undertaking mass vaccination against coronavirus, questions are being asked why Australia won't have it until at least March, and possibly later.
By comparison, Britain began vaccinations of the Pfizer vaccine in early December and rolls out the AstraZeneca vaccination on Monday, with the hope of soon immunising two million people per week.
The US started inoculations in December, although it missed its initial target of getting 20 million doses into people by the close of 2020.
Under Operation Warp Speed, more than 14 million doses have been distributed, with 2.79 million people coming forward to get the jab by December 30.
Israel was leading in Covid-19 vaccines per capita, with more than 800,000 of Israel's roughly nine million population having received shots, and a plan to vaccinate 25 per cent of Israelis by the end of January.
The next highest per capita rollout of the vaccine was by Bahrain, followed by the UK, US, Denmark, Canada and China which by December 31, had administered 4.5 million doses.
People are being vaccinated against Covid-19 in countries like Kuwait, Russia, Mexico, Portugal, Italy and Chile.
The delay in rolling out the Covid jab in Australia, will be compounded by the necessary approval of the vaccine by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Some fear the lag will eat in to Australia's apparent advantage of having low coronavirus numbers.
If a vaccine was available here earlier, it could have been used to control outbreaks with, say, Sydney Northern Beaches residents being immunised to contain clusters.
Despite assurances by Health Minister Greg Hunt that the progression of the vaccine was well under way, the Australian Government is unlikely to start immunising health workers and the elderly until at least March.
Hunt said he spoke with the local head of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca recently and confirmed the Australian Government's supplies of the vaccine should complete final assessment from the TGA in coming weeks and Australians should be fully vaccinated by October 2021.
"We're expecting final data for consideration in late January, early February from AstraZeneca."
Hunt also said the Government has finalised its contract with Pfizer and expects its assessment to be completed at the end of next month.
The Federal Government signed a deal for nearly 54 million doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, with 20 million to be produced in Australia in 2021 by CSL.
Britain has already begun immunising in the hope that rapid action will help it stem a surge of infections driven by a highly contagious UK variant of the virus.
It was the first to approve a shot developed by Pfizer of the United States and Germany's BioNTech, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people were vaccinated in Britain before EU countries and the US even began administering it last month.
Australia's acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly told media on December 30, that the nation's vaccination plan was "on target".
"We are going ahead with all of those preparatory phases, which includes the procurement of vaccines, making sure that those deliveries are coming when they need to be here, that our regulators are continuing to work through this period and are eagerly awaiting further information from both AstraZeneca and Pfizer in the coming days."
Professor Kelly said there were still no "full approvals" anywhere in the world for a Covid-19 vaccine, and only emergency use was happening in some parts of the world where it was needed.
"They are very limited and we are now a few weeks into that situation in the UK, in the US and other places.
"[We] are watching very closely what is happening in relation to, firstly, the plans of the rollout and how that's working, what we can learn from those things but particularly any safety concerns that may emerge with this increased numbers of vaccines that have been given in other parts of the world."
But as other countries proceed with vaccination programmes, Australians may become more frustrated with the lack of available jabs.
Figures compiled by Our World in Data, a website published by Oxford University, put Israel in the lead in vaccination doses administered per 100 people.
But the country is behind China, the US and the UK in the total number of vaccinations administered as of Thursday.
On the Oxford University's vaccination map, countries like Australia, along with India, African nations, most of South-East Asia and Brazil are blank – that is they have had zero vaccinations.
The Australian Government could grant final approval for the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine by late January, according to AstraZeneca Australia.
A spokesperson for the company told SBS World News the Government has indicated the vaccine could get final approval by January 31, with a rollout in March.
However on Ney Year's Day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there would be "no short-cuts" with the speed of introducing the vaccine into Australia.
"There's been no approval given in an advanced jurisdiction for the AZ vaccine; there have been emergency authorisations given," he said.
"But this is countries like the UK, where there's hundreds of people dying a day.
"Australia is not in that situation, so, we're being careful to ensure that we dot all the Is and we cross all the Ts to ensure this vaccine is safe, and able to be distributed across the Australian population.
"We're moving promptly to do that, we're moving swiftly to do that, but we're not cutting corners.
"We're being meticulous about this, because that's what Australians deserve, and it's important from a public health point of view in ensuring public confidence in the way the vaccine is distributed."
The AstraZeneca vaccine's advantage is that doses do not have to be stored at such low temperatures as the Pfizer one, making distribution easier and cheaper.