Australia on Tuesday stated it had not but acquired greater than three million doses of beforehand promised AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses amid export curbs by the European Union, leaving a significant gap in its early nationwide inoculation drive.

Authorities had pledged to manage no less than four million first doses of the vaccine by end-March, however may solely vaccinate 670,000 after the European Union blocked AstraZeneca vaccine exports to Australia within the wake of the drugmaker’s failure to fulfill its cargo pledge to the bloc.

“We were scheduled to have received over 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from overseas by now, which have not arrived in Australia because of the problems with shipments that we’ve seen happening here and in other parts of the world,” Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd informed Sky News.

Australia started vaccinations a lot later than another international locations as a consequence of low case numbers, recording just below 29,400 Covid-19 instances and 909 deaths for the reason that pandemic started. But the AstraZeneca dose delay leaves it struggling to step up the tempo of its vaccination drive.

The majority of Australia’s close to 26 million inhabitants can be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine, with 50 million doses set to be produced domestically from the top of March. About 2.5 million doses have been domestically produced up to now with 1000’s of doses already cleared testing and distributed to the vaccination websites.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, tasked to assist with the rollout of the nationwide inoculation programme from May, stated on Tuesday that sluggish home vaccine approvals and logistics points will now push deliveries to June.

“We have been told that the delay is linked to supply chain delays rather than the ability of the pharmacy network to participate,” Pharmacy Guild President Trent Twomey informed Reuters.

Twomey additionally blamed the sluggish rollout on an absence of co-ordination between the Australian nationwide authorities and states, with the latter complaining about slower-than-expected distribution and an absence of certainty on vaccine provides.

National authorities, nonetheless, stated vaccination centres can be doubled by the top of the week, as they appear to ramp up the vaccination programme that goals to offer no less than one dose to each particular person by the top of October.

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