| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Australia to send 50,000 more Pfizer vaccine doses to Sydney

Sydney will receive 50,000 more doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week to curb its Covid-19 outbreak, Canberra said on Saturday, reversing a rebuff by the Australian government the previous day of a plea for more supplies.

Australia recorded 176 new locally Covid-19 infections on Saturday, a third consecutive daily record with nearly all cases in the state of New South Wales, centered in Sydney.

Officials are afraid the outbreak could jeopardize the rest of the country.

New South Wales State Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the extra vaccine supply was immediately required to stop transmission of the virus, as people were not sticking to stay-at-home orders.

“At the moment it’s like fighting a war with both arms behind your back,” Hazzard told reporters.

New South Wales reported 163 locally acquired Covid-19 infections Saturday, up from 136 the previous day, with 37 patients in intensive care.

Hazzard reiterated a call for other states to give up some Pfizer vaccines so that younger people in Sydney’s hotspots could be inoculated, reminding neighboring states about the help New South Wales had provided during other crises.

“I can’t quite see the difference between beating back fires and beating back … floods and beating back this COVID virus that could actually, if it gets worse here in New South Wales, could actually create massive problems for the whole country,” he said.

The health minister of Victoria state, Martin Foley, said it had no spare vaccine for New South Wales but fully supported the federal government sending them extra doses from a national stockpile, as they were clearly in greatest need.

  • Reuters