A million doses of the Pfizer (COVID vaccine) fixed for Australia will be permitted to leave the European Union (EU), its ambassador has verified.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison already said that we aim to vaccinate 80,000 people a week until February. Also, PM said earlier that Australia had secured 20 million doses of the vaccine.
Australia’s concern was to get its order after introducing new rules by the EU on exports of coronavirus vaccine produced within the bloc, comprising Pfizer.
The measure could be used to block shipments to many non-EU countries and make sure any exporting company based in the EU would first submit their plans to national authorities. However, on Tuesday, Dr Michael Pulch, the EU’s ambassador to Australia, confirmed that the first Pfizer doses would not be restricted.
He said, “Australia can surely rely on shipments of vaccine from Europe.”
“My colleagues in Brussels have ensured the Australian side that they will operate with them on a smooth authorisation manner.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt said the vaccine’s local rollout would be subjected to the AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses entering Australia on time. Mr Hunt said yesterday, “We will fix a date when we get the shipping confirmation from, but we were in contact with Pfizer Australia yesterday, and they remain on track.”
Dr Pulch stated that the EU’s new laws increased “transparency,” not banning the export.He said, “as a conclusion of statements by pharmaceutical companies that they would decrease the delivery of vaccines to Europe, we realised that we required to get a hold on the circumstances.”
He said, “we had 2 firms that declared this, one was AstraZeneca and second is Pfizer-BioNTech, who out of the blue claimed they would only produce 40 per cent of what they had agreed.”
“The companies would now have to reveal strategies to send vaccine doses outside of the EU and have these plans authorised.”
The government’s goal is to have all Australians who want to receive a vaccine offered a jab by the end of October.