Australia falls short of 3 million Astrazeneca Vaccine doses
Australia on Tuesday said it had not yet received more than 3 million doses of previously promised AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses amid export curbs by the European Union, leaving a major hole in its early nationwide inoculation drive.
Australia started vaccinations much later than some other countries due to low cases, recording just under 29,400 COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. But the AstraZeneca dose delay leaves it struggling to step up the pace of its vaccination drive.
The majority of Australia’s 26 million population will be inoculated, with 50 million doses set to be produced locally from the end of March. About 2.5 million doses have been locally produced so far with thousands of doses already cleared testing and distributed to the vaccination sites.
Authorities, however, said vaccination centres would be doubled by the end of the week, as they look to ramp up the vaccination programme that aims to provide at least one dose to every person by the end of October.