As part of the COVID-19 vaccine deal, 4 million doses of Pfizer injections will be shipped from the UK to Australia.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said Australia will return the same “total dose” by the end of the year.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said the agreement will “share doses at the best time to strengthen our two countries’ vaccination programs.”
DHSC stated that the arrangement will enable the UK to better align the timing of vaccine supply with future demand, including any enhancement plans or expansion of the scope of promotion to young teenagers.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has not yet provided recommendations on any of them, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to have confirmed on Thursday that an enhanced plan will begin this month.
He said: “The priority now is for the older generation to enter the autumn and winter. We have always said that September-this month-will have a booster plan, and we are advancing this plan.”
After announcing the agreement with Australia, Javid said: “Vaccines have built a strong line of defense in the UK. We hope to support countries around the world in recovering from COVID-19 and improving access to vaccines.
“Our agreement with Australia will share doses at the best time to strengthen vaccination programs in our two countries.
“By cooperating with international partners and coordinating the launch of life-saving vaccines, we will protect more people from this terrible virus and save lives.”
The first batch of 292,000 doses will be shipped to Australia soon.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the move at a press conference in Canberra on Friday. He said: “The plane is now on the tarmac. It will leave tomorrow.
“These doses will appear in the next few weeks, which will double our Pfizer dose in September.
“This means that from Downing Street to Australia, we will double Pfizer’s dose in Australia this month.”
According to data from the Australian Immunization Registry, Australia is one of the countries with the slowest introduction of vaccines among wealthy countries, with only 36.4% of people over the age of 16 being vaccinated.
The two most populous states in the country, Victoria and New South Wales, are in lockdown and are counting on vaccinations for residents to contain the delta virus outbreak that began in Sydney in mid-June.
At the time of the agreement with Australia, the United Kingdom announced that its latest batch of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been delivered through the COVAX program, which aims to ensure that the vaccine is available to poorer countries in the world.
The government stated that more than 9 million COVID-19 vaccines from the UK have now been sent to developing countries in Africa and Asia.
DHSC stated that the agreement with Australia is separate from the commitment to send 100 million vaccines overseas.
Authors: Aine Fox and Benjamin Cooper
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times