With 35 per cent of Australian residents aged 16 and older now vaccinated with two doses, the Federal Government will be able to expedite the vaccine roll-out after a swap deal was reached with Singapore.
Australia will receive 500,000 Pfizer doses through the agreement this week and will return the favour to the city state in December.
"That comes on top of some 4.5 million that we already have planned for September, and the one million Moderna doses, and the many other millions of doses that are available from our AstraZeneca production," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today.
"That means there are 500,000 doses extra that will happen in September that otherwise would have had to wait for several months from now, accelerating our vaccination program at this critical time as we work towards those 70 per cent and 80 per cent targets," he said.
"This will greatly assist the national vaccination program that brings in two important age groups...16 to 29s which have already begun this week, and of course the 12 to 15-year-olds who there's 1.2 million of...they start bookings from 13 September."
The announcement comes a fortnight after the Commonwealth Government reached a deal to source an additional one million Pfizer vaccines from Poland, while the PM emphasised Australia's vaccination rates had recently been higher on a per capita basis than "the best of weeks" in the US and UK.
"Tasmania is leading the charge with the highest double-dose vaccination rate in the country, and New South Wales is running first when it comes to first dose vaccinations around the country, and others are close behind," Morrison said.
58.7 per cent of eligible Australians have had their first dose, which is up by more than 18 percentage points compared to a month ago, while the share of fully vaccinated Australians has almost doubled.
Updated at 1:16pm AEST on 31 August 2021.
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