Australia’s deal with the United Kingdom to secure an extra four million Pfizer vaccine doses is expected to speed up the country’s reopening process, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Announced by the PM on Friday, the deal will see extra Pfizer doses arrive in Australia within the next few weeks, doubling the country’s supply of the vaccine during September.
“This will enable us to bring forward significantly the opportunity for Australia to open up again under the national plan,” Morrison said.
“The bring-forward of these doses, I think, should be a great cause for hope right around the country.”
ScoMo said no stone was left unturned in the global search to find additional vaccines, and the PM urged Aussies to step up and get vaccinated.
“This deal is a game-changer for our vaccine rollout,” he said.
“Millions of Australians will now be able to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated sooner as we follow our national plan to safely reopen.
“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 will return the favour by sending four million Pfizer doses to the UK from its own supplies in late 2021.
This deal comes on top of the agreements with Poland and Singapore, with Australia now receiving nine million Pfizer doses in September. One million Moderna doses are also expected this month.
With the nation only two million doses away from achieving the 70 per cent first-dose vaccination coverage, Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt encouraged all Australians to get vaccinated.
“We are getting vaccinated in record numbers. Seven million people rolled up their sleeves throughout the month of August,” he said.
“Every vaccination can protect somebody’s life and bring us closer to the freedoms we enjoy.”
However, the federal government is yet to put a timeline on when it thinks Australia will reach Phase B of its reopening plan, whereby approximately 70 per cent of the adult population will be fully vaccinated.
Featured image source: ABC News