Australian PM meets state and territory leaders under pressure from vaccine shift

On Thursday the Australian authorities changed their recommendation after European regulators reiterated the possibility of links between AstraZeneca's shot and reports of very rare cases of blood clots.

Reuters | Sydney | Updated: 09-04-2021 03:32 IST | Created: 09-04-2021 03:32 IST
Australian PM meets state and territory leaders under pressure from vaccine shift

Australia's federal government faces a tense meeting with state and territory leaders on Friday after an abrupt change to the country's vaccination program triggered by a recommendation that people under 50 take Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine rather than AstraZeneca's shot. Late the previous day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the policy shift, which was based on possible links between AstraZeneca's shot and rare cases of blood clots, would delay Australia's inoculation plans which were already behind schedule due to a supply shortage.

Australia had ordered 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough for 10 million of its population of nearly 26 million, but had banked on the AstraZeneca vaccine for the majority of shots with biopharma CSL Ltd contracted to make 50 million doses domestically. On Thursday the Australian authorities changed their recommendation after European regulators reiterated the possibility of links between AstraZeneca's shot and reports of very rare cases of blood clots. Plans to have the entire population vaccinated by the end of October would be pushed back as a result, Morrison said.

"This does change the game for Australia and not in a good way," the opposition Labor party's deputy senate leader Kristina Keneally told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Friday. "While we are lucky we don't have high rates of community transmission at the moment, we know that can change."

After a hardline response to the coronavirus largely stopped community transmissions, the vaccination rollout has become a hot political topic - and a source of friction between Morrison and state and territory leaders - after the country missed a target of having four million people vaccinated by end-March. Australia began vaccinations much later than some other nations because of its low number of infections, which stand at just under 29,400, with 909 deaths, since the pandemic began.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

EU stands by Ukraine's side, chief executive says

The European Union stands by Ukraine, the head of the blocs execuive said on Friday in announcing first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines to the former Soviet republic through COVAX, a global network for jab distribution. Ukraine is a close n...

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: IHC asks Pak Foreign Ministry to seek Indian response on lawyer's appointment

The Islamabad High Court IHC on Thursday asked Pakistans Ministry of Foreign Affairs FO to seek Indian response on the appointment of a lawyer in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in order to implement the directives of the International Court of ...

Kenya: Moi Primary School Nakuru excels in KCPE 2020 exams

Moi Primary School in Nakuru County of Kenya excelled in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Exams KCPE 2021 results on Thursday, according to a report by Kenya News Agency. Marking a history, all the candidates of the school scored ...

Priyanka Gandhi urges people to follow COVID-19 precautions amid rapid surge in infections

As the COVID-19 situation in India continues to worsen, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter with an appeal to netizens to follow all necessary precautions during such unprecedented times. Dear countrymen, these ...

Give Feedback