Australia secures 500,000 additional Pfizer vaccines from Singapore in ‘jab swap’ deal brokered by countries’ prime ministers
- Scott Morrison bought 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccine from Poland two weeks ago
- Now he has secured a jab swap deal with Singapore for 500,000 vaccines
- In return, Australia will give 500,000 doses to Singapore in December
- The doses are expected to be split between states per capita
Australia will get 500,000 vaccines from Singapore this week in a jab-swap deal brokered by the countries’ prime ministers.
The doses will be distributed per capita between the states and territories and will be distributed next week.
In return, Australia will give the same amount of Pfizer doses to Singapore in December.
Scott Morrison (left) and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) shake hands at Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore on June 7
Singapore was happy to hand over its doses, as 77.6 percent of its citizens have already been fully vaccinated. It could then use Australia’s doses as booster shots in December.
I would especially like to thank Prime Minister Lee, with whom I have discussed and pursued this issue directly,” Scott Morrison said when announcing the deal.
The Prime Minister has made an effort to get more Pfizer shots from friendly countries, while Australia’s jab rollout is increasing at 34.41 percent of over 16s who have been fully vaccinated.
Two weeks ago, the federal government bought 1 million doses of Pfizer from Poland, with half given to Covid-ravaged NSW and the rest distributed to the other states and territories.
Victoria complained that NSW was being given preferential treatment and demanded a fair share of the extra supplies.
“I am very keen to ensure that we see nothing but a proper proportional distribution of any additional vaccines, and the Prime Minister has given me that commitment,” Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Sunday.
Australia will get 500,000 vaccines from Singapore this week in a jab-swap deal. Pictured: Pfizer Doses Arrive at Sydney Airport in February
In a press conference on Friday, Mr Morrison said he was working on several deals that would give him the confidence to open vaccinations to younger teens from September 13.
‘In terms of dosages, we have promising leads. I can’t confirm that at the moment, but we’ve been working on it for a while,” he said.
“That gives us more confidence that we can go ahead with this decision to vaccinate children aged 12 to 15 in particular.”
Young people under 18 can only get Pfizer because AstraZeneca is not licensed for children.
Australia’s first shipment of the Moderna vaccine – which is similar to Pfizer – will arrive shortly with one million doses in September, then another three million in October, November and December.
Australia has an abundance of AstraZeneca vaccines, but Pfizer’s supply — which is preferred for those under 60 — is tight, with several states and territories asking for more.
Meanwhile, the federal government continues to pressure prime ministers to stick to the national reopening plan, which will end lockdowns in two phases when 70 and 80 percent of people over 16 are vaccinated.
The plan, which opens international borders when 80 percent is poked, makes no mention of state borders – but Mr Morrison and treasurer Josh Frydenberg have encouraged cautious leaders to open up because eliminating Covid is unsustainable.
Some states threaten to keep their borders closed or demand higher jab rates before lifting lockdowns, raising prospects that Australia will remain a divided country for months to come
What are the four stages of opening?
A. Vaccinating, preparing and testing (from 14 July)
Arrival caps halved to 3,035 per week; early, severe and short lockdowns if outbreaks occur; trials of seven-day home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals in South Australia; medicare vaccination certificates available in apps like Apple Wallet
B. Post-vaccination phase (when 70 percent will be stung, expected by the end of this year)
Lockdowns less likely but possible; vaccinated people face reduced disabilities; limits for unvaccinated arrivals increased; a larger limit for vaccinated arrivals with ‘reduced quarantine requirements’; limited entry for students and economic visa holders
C. Consolidation Phase (when 80 percent is pricked, time not announced)
Only ‘highly targeted’ lockdowns; lifting of all outbound travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers; no limits for vaccinated arrivals; increased limits for students and visa holders; more travel bubbles arise with countries like Singapore; booster shots rolled out
D. Final phase (percentage or time not disclosed)
Unlimited arrivals for vaccinated people without any quarantine and unlimited arrivals for unvaccinated people with pre-departure and on-arrival testing