Health

Australia depends on European Union for Pfizer vaccines as the US limits supply

Australia is depending on help in supplies from the European Union when next week to fulfill the rising demand for Pfizer vaccines while the United States keeps on restricting exports from its pharmaceutical giants.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the vaccine supplies were coming “in very significant quantities” throughout the next few many months in the midst of a developing dispute with Labor over why the government didn’t get more doses sooner.

The government is certain of getting 2.8 million Pfizer doses this month however estimates that only 300,000 will show up this week, setting up a challenge to get a greater shipment next week.

All the Pfizer vaccines transported to Australia have come from the European Union up until now and this is relied upon to proceed for the 32.6 million doses guaranteed in a surge of supplies from August to December.

Mr. Frydenberg denied the government had not paid enough to vaccine suppliers to get products when numerous nations have dominated Australia as far as vaccinations per head of population.

“We continue to secure as much supply as we can and we continue to have discussions with those major companies,” he said.

“I don’t think it is an issue of paying enough – as you know we have put more than $7 billion to work in terms of the vaccine distribution as well as the acquisition of the vaccines.

“With Australia’s position, having very successfully compared to many other countries suppressed the virus, we didn’t receive as much as other countries in more emergency situations.

“But we know the supply is coming online in very significant quantities.”

The comments feature the government’s view that vaccine makers consider the scale of a country’s coronavirus infections when deciding the nations that require urgent supplies.

With the country’s peak medical advisers suggesting the Pfizer messenger RNA vaccine for individuals up to the age of 60 instead of AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccine, Australia is suffering a lack of Pfizer imports simultaneously it produces around one million AstraZeneca doses every week at CSL facilities in Melbourne.

Health authorities regulated 165,475 shots on Tuesday to take the country’s vaccination rate to 9.8 percent (based on two doses) of those aged more than 16.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the vaccine rollout was “a shocker” because the government had failed to hit enough deals with producers.

“We are under 10 percent. We should be doing much better,” he said. “They didn’t do enough deals with enough companies. They didn’t do the deals fast enough. They were too slow.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt agreed in May to purchase 25 million doses from another mRNA maker, Moderna, yet just 10 million of this is expected this calendar year.

The Biden organization reported in May it would permit exports of Pfizer and Moderna to Canada and Mexico, while it has likewise sent supplies to Brazil and Taiwan and this week guaranteed 4,000,000 Moderna doses to Indonesia.

The Pfizer vaccine was developed with the German organization BioNTech and is produced in the US, Germany, and Belgium. Moderna is produced in the US and Switzerland.

The EU imposed controversial export controls on COVID-19 vaccines recently yet has exported around half of its production.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on March 24 the fundamental export destinations up to that point were the United Kingdom (with 10.9 million doses), Canada (6.6 million), Japan (5.4 million), Mexico (4.4 million), Saudi Arabia (1.5 million), Singapore (1.5 million), Chile (1.5 million), Hong Kong (1.3 million), Korea (1 million) and Australia (1 million).

By May 6, the EU vaccine production had arrived at a point where Ms von der Leyen said 200 million doses had been delivered to individuals within the European Union and another 200 million had gone to different nations.

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