Australia’s vaccine rollout will be boosted by 500,000 extra Pfizer-BioNTech doses to be distributed next week for immediate use, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced.
This follows a a dose-swap deal secured between Australia and Singapore. Under the agreement, Australia will gain access to 500,000 Singaporean doses now to boost the vaccine programme in September, while in December there will be 500,000 Pfizer doses heading to Singapore from Australia.
Morrison said the vaccines would be provided to all states and territories for distribution by primary care and state and territory vaccination sites on an equal population basis. This after successful batch testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
“This deal gives us the further supplies we need as we bring new groups into the programme for Pfizer, including 12-to-15-year-olds from September 13, and the 16-to-39-year age group that has already commenced.”
Deal is on top of Polish arrangement
The PM added: “I said we would leave no stone unturned in bolstering our vaccination programme. This deal comes on top of the Polish agreement that has already boosted our national vaccination rates to exceed those achieved in the United States and United Kingdom at the peak of their programmes.”
Morrison thanked Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, for supporting the arrangement, saying it highlighted how two governments could work together to manage vaccine stocks before they expire.
Foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, added that Australia was working with various other countries to manage the pandemic’s challenges.
Countries are cooperating on vaccines
“Just as Australia and Singapore are working together, Australia is cooperating with partners in the region to save lives, advance economic recovery, and build health systems to protect against future pandemic,” Payne stated.
According to a Federal Government statement, there is no purchase cost associated with the Australia-Singapore deal to source the vaccine doses, which were manufactured in Belgium.
They are being distributed to states/territories on a per capita basis, with New South Wales getting the biggest number (159,000), followed by Victoria (131,000) and Queensland (100,000).
More than 19.3-million doses have now been delivered across Australia, with more than 1.9-million doses delivered over the past week.