London / Canberra To boost the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, Britain and Australia have reached an agreement on vaccines. The British government is initially shipping four million doses of vaccine to Australia, which in turn should return the same amount before the end of the year.
Australia has already made a similar agreement with the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, which ships half a million cans and then receives the same number. The Australian government has long been criticized for not doing enough to get vaccinated.
Now, the highly contagious Delta variant has sparked the largest wave to date in the country of 25 million people. Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK George Brandis tweeted: Four million doses of hope.
The Australian vaccination program is one of the slowest among the wealthiest countries. So far, only a third (36 percent) of adults have been fully vaccinated. UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the agreement came at the right time to bolster vaccination programs in both countries.
Australia can accelerate vaccine distribution and we are getting new supplies in time for future needs, Javid tweeted. The UK plans to start a booster program with a third vaccination for over 60s in September. Vaccinations for children ages 12-15 are also expected to be allowed soon. © dpa / aerzteblatt.de
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