One million doses of Pfizer vaccine from Europe boosting Australian supplies
- The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister
- The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care
One million additional Pfizer doses will begin arriving in Australia from tonight after a significant agreement was reached with the Republic of Poland.
The additional doses are on top of the 40 million Pfizer doses that Australia has already secured for 2021, and will provide a boost to the vaccine roll-out across the country.
The one million doses will be targeted to Australians aged 20 to 39 years of age, who were identified in the Doherty Modelling as the peak transmitters of COVID-19.
530,010 doses will be prioritised for express delivery to the 12 Greater Sydney Local Government Areas where the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow, following advice from the Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.
This will give everyone aged 20 to 39 years in the 12 LGAs the opportunity to be vaccinated.
The remaining 470,340 Pfizer doses will be distributed on a per capita basis to other states and territories, to fast-track the vaccination of 20 to 39 year olds and other high risk groups.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new Pfizer doses would start being administered in State Clinics across Greater Sydney this week.
“There are a million doses of hope on their way,” the Prime Minister said.
“Within days of landing in Australia, these extra Pfizer doses will be available to go into the arms of young Australians in our hardest hit COVID hot-spots.
“These young Australians are often the backbone of our essential workforce and these doses will not only protect them, but their loved ones, their state and our nation.
“We can get on top of this by working together to suppress and vaccinate.
“I want to personally thank Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his government for their generous support of Australia's COVID-19 response, during this challenging time.
“We continue to leave no stone unturned in the supply and administration of vaccines to protect Australian lives and livelihoods.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Marise Payne, said Australia's network of diplomats was working hard to identify opportunities to secure additional vaccine supplies.
“This is a demonstration of the value of Australia's close engagement with other governments and a strong example of countries cooperating and supporting one another as we face the pandemic together,” Minister Payne said.
“This deal also illustrates that our diplomatic capability is delivering in ways that protect and support Australians at home and abroad throughout this pandemic.”
Australia purchased surplus vaccines, which were produced at Pfizer's Belgium facility, on a not-for-profit basis from the Republic of Poland. These are the same highly safe and effective Pfizer vaccines that are currently being administered in Australia.
These additional one million come on top of the three million doses of Pfizer brought forward from the fourth quarter to now, which has increased the weekly arrivals of Pfizer from 600,000 to one million per week.
Minister for Health and Aged Care said the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provided regulatory approval for the supply of these Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses manufactured at Pfizer's facilities in Belgium.
“In order to ensure their quality and safety, the vaccines will undergo the same TGA batch release processes as all other COVID-19 vaccines,” Minister Hunt said.
“The TGA's processes are I believe the best in the world and we have ensured that they are thorough.
“Our first foremost priority is the safety of all Australians and to ensure these, and all vaccines meet the stringent safety quality regulations set by our world leading TGA.”
Australia's vaccination program has been based on the medical advice from the Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group (SITAG), Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The 12 LGAs are: Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and Penrith.
The per capita allocation to the remaining states and territories is: Victoria 175,500, Queensland 136,890, South Australia 47,970, Western Australia 70,200, Tasmania 17,550, Northern Territory 8,190, and the ACT 14,040.