Australia buys Pfizer vaccines from Poland amid record COVID infections

pharmafile | August 16, 2021 | News story | Sales and Marketing  

Australia has purchased around 1 million Pfizer vaccines from Poland as the country battles a wave of infections.

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said on Sunday that the extra vaccines would start arriving immediately and over half will be directed to 20- to 39-year-olds in New South Wales, as the state reported its second largest increase in locally transmitted infections.

Only 24% of Australians over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, with the Pfizer vaccine dose being in short supply despite it being the preferred jab among young people.

During a news conference in Canberra, Morrison said: “We’ve been seeing those case numbers rise in Sydney and New South Wales each day and that is terribly concerning.

“We’ve got to get those numbers coming down […] you needed more vaccines from us. More vaccines are on their way. They’ll be there this week, and so I need Sydneysiders to stay home so we can beat this thing.”

New South Wales, the most populous state, reported 415 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the second largest increase after the previous day’s record 466.

Of the new doses, 530,000 will be prioritised for express delivery over the coming week to 12 greater Sydney local government areas after they arrive in Australia on Sunday night, Morrison said.

The remaining 470,340 will be distributed on a per capita basis to other states and territories to fast-track inoculations of the younger age-group.

Sydney entered into a snap seven-day lockdown on Saturday, following growing infection rates, and it is now unlikely that the area will come out of its nine-week lockdown on August 28, as planned.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney: “Western New South Wales remains a concern, especially in relation to our vulnerable indigenous communities and getting a vaccine to them is critical at this point in time.”

On Sunday, officials said four more people had died, taking the number of deaths in the latest outbreak in the state to 46. Of the new positive cases, at least 66 are people who spent time in the community while infectious, Berejiklian said.

Federal and state governments have committed to ending lockdowns when 70% of the country’s near 26 million population is vaccinated.

Kat Jenkins

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