Singapore to send half a million Pfizer doses to Australia in a bid to counter worsening number of COVID-19 cases

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Image credit: Screen grab from “PM announces vaccine swap with Singapore | 9 News Australia” YouTube video

A classic example of international teamwork.

Singapore will be sending 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Australia this week to help combat the surge of COVID-19 cases. The Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Scott Morrison, announced on Tuesday that both countries have agreed to a vaccine swap arrangement.

As part of the agreement, Australia will receive half a million Pfizer doses that are due to expire.

“That means there are 500,000 doses extra that will happen in September that otherwise would have had to wait for several months from now, accelerating our vaccination program at this critical time as we walk towards those 70% and 80% targets,” Mr Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

These 500,000 doses will be allocated evenly according to population sizes across the country. This is in addition to the 4.5 million doses that were already planned to be administered in September.

About 35% of Australia have received their second dose whereas Singapore has already fully vaccinated around 80% of its population. A call out for faster vaccine rollout is crucial at this time to tackle the highly contagious Delta variant.

In December, the Australian government will then send the same number of Pfizer vaccines back to Singapore.

When returned, the doses might be used for booster shots later this year as said by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“These returned doses would come in more useful for Singapore then, potentially as booster doses for specific segments of our population that could benefit from such boosting,” said the ministry.

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