Four million extra vaccine doses will begin arriving in Australia in days, following what is being described as a “historic partnership” between the Australian and United Kingdom governments.
The doses will be batch-tested and immediately distributed across the country on an equal population basis.
According to the Federal Government, the dose-sharing partnership benefits both countries and will see Australia receive four million Pfizer doses from UK supplies in September, with Australia sending four million similar doses to the UK from Australian supplies in late 2021.
“This deal is a game-changer for our vaccine roll out,” Prime Minster, Scott Morrison, said.
PM wants to slash vaccine waiting times
“With this significant supply boost, I want to work with our GP network and state-run vaccine hubs to slash vaccine wait times and get Australians vaccinated sooner.
“Australia has no greater friend than the UK and I would like to thank the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, for his deep commitment to Australia and his personal and direct engagement on this partnership agreement. I would particularly like to thank Pfizer for their support in executing this agreement.”
The deal is on top of the agreements with Poland and Singapore, which means Australia is now on schedule to receive nine million Pfizer doses in September. One million Moderna doses are also expected this month.
With the nation now two million doses away from achieving the 70 percent first dose vaccination coverage, health minister Greg Hunt encouraged all Australians to get vaccinated.
Seven million were vaccinated in August
“We are getting vaccinated in record numbers, [with] seven million people rolled up their sleeves throughout the month of August,” the minister said.
“This dose-sharing agreement is mutually beneficial in that it allows UK doses that otherwise might have expired to be brought forward for use now in Australia. Equally, the UK will be able to access an equivalent number of doses later in the year at a time that will assist with their booster or other related programs.
“Along with the Singapore agreement this dose sharing agreement with the UK approximately doubles Australia’s access to Pfizer in September. It means that the balance and burden of the vaccination program will have shifted from October and November to August and September.”
Like the deals with Poland and Singapore, there are no purchase costs associated with the UK vaccine deal.