Vaccine passport: Virologist reveals ‘limitation’ of Covid pass
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The Prime Minister and Australian leader Scott Morrison have agreed a swap deal for coronavirus vaccines, with Canberra securing four million Pfizer doses. It comes as Australia records its biggest daily increase in Covid cases, and as Britain recorded more than 40,000 infections.
Speaking to reporters in Canberra, Mr Morrison insisted he owed Mr Johnson a beer after the deal.
He said: “On a difficult day like this, it’s important to bring hope. And, I can assure you, there is hope.
“This will enable us to bring forward significantly the opportunity for Australia to open up again.”
“Thanks, Boris, I owe you a beer, cheers.”
The first batch of 292,000 Pfizer doses will be delivered to Australia by Sunday.
Australia and Britain’s vaccine swap deal sees four million doses delivered to Canberra over the next weeks from Sunday.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said will later return the same “overall volume of doses” before the end of the year.
Australia has one of the slowest vaccine rollouts among wealthy countries, with 36.4 percent of people over the age of 16 fully vaccinated according to the Australian Immunisation Register.
Australia has also struck a similar deal with Singapore, with half a million Pfizer doses landing in the country on Thursday.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the agreement with Australia will share doses “at the optimum time to bolster both our countries’ vaccination programmes”.
The DHSC also said the deal will allow the UK to better align timings of vaccine supply with future need, including for any booster programme or extension of the rollout to younger teenagers.
Mr Morrison added his friendship with Mr Javid helped the deal be struck, and said: “I want to thank also health minister Sajid Javid who I have known for some time… and his ability to progress with Greg Hunt, our minister, and I thank Greg and all of his team.
“There’s been some very late-night discussions and negotiations and legal work taking place, especially over the course of the past week, to bring this to conclusion.”
Marise Payne, Australian Foreign Minister & Minister for Women, hailed the news on Twitter.
She said: “Australia and the United Kingdom are the closest of partners. Cooperation during the pandemic is no exception.
“Thank you Dominic Raab the UK’s Government for our swap agreement of 4 million Pfizer doses, which will start arriving in Australia on Sunday.”
However, some Australian’s weren’t happy with the deal, with one twitter user saying: “Is there no bargain-basement the Morrison Government won’t lick the floor of to procure vaccine that should have been ordered 12 months ago?
“Is there no depth Morrison and his incompetence won’t sink to? Beggars belief, really.”
British Twitter users also complained about the UK sending vaccine doses abroad.
One said: “UK give vaccines? Never mind lending them to Australia he should have given them to Covax.”
Another user said: “UK vaccines for Aussie teens but no vaccinations for our own!”
One more user said: “If you don’t want your vaccines, masks and furlough money, we can always send it to the developing world.
“Hey Boris Johnson when are we levelling up the global south?”
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