Home International COVID-19 Australia vows not to rush vaccine rollout, citing 'problems'

Australia vows not to rush vaccine rollout, citing UK ‘problems’

Australia had largely eliminated community transmission but is currently battling to contain small clusters of the disease in the country's biggest cities

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Under mounting pressure to speed up vaccinations, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said he would not take “unnecessary risks” and emulate ’s emergency drug approval.

While vaccinations are already well underway in many countries, Australia’s pharmaceutical is not expected to rule on candidate for around another month and is aiming to administer the first doses by the end of March.

Pressed about that seemingly sluggish timetable, Morrison — who early in the boasted Australia would be “at the front of the queue” for any — suggested virus-ravaged countries like Britain had been forced to take risks with emergency approvals.

“Australia is not in an emergency situation like the . So we don’t have to cut corners. We don’t have to take unnecessary risks,” the conservative leader told local radio 3AW.

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Australia had largely eliminated community transmission but is currently battling to contain small clusters of the disease in the country’s biggest cities, and .

Around 26 people are currently in nationwide with the disease.

He said Britain, with almost 60,000 cases of a day was “in the very early phases” of the vaccine rollout and “they’ve had quite a few problems, and they’re doing it on an emergency basis”.

“They’re not batches of before they’re disseminated across the population, is my understanding,” Morrison said, insisting Australia would carry out such .

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The Australian premier has for weeks said that mass- efforts in Britain, and elsewhere would provide Australia with more data about the safety of the vaccines than clinical trails could.

Australia — with a population of around 25 million — has agreed to buy almost 54 million doses of the University of /AstraZeneca vaccine, with 3.8 million to be delivered early this year.

It also reached an agreement for 51 million doses of Novavax this year, 10 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine early this year, and had invested in a domestic University of Queensland vaccine that was scrapped while still in trials.

© Agence France-Presse

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