First shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Australia overnight under UK swap deal.
The first shipment of the swap deal with Britain includes nearly half a million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
This came as Australia battles a surge in cases that has put more than half its 25 million population in lockdown.
Another 3.5 million from the agreement are due to arrive this month. One million doses of Moderna are also expected to land in about a week.
Supply issues have been one of the major handbrakes on Australia’s vaccine rollout which remains well behind other developed nations.
Australia has fully vaccinated 37.8 per cent of its population aged 16 and above while 62.1 per cent have received a first dose.
Australian capital is facing its ‘most serious public health risk,’ after detecting the first case of community transmission.
A total lockdown was declared across Canberra for a whole week.
The announcement came after reporting its first locally acquired case of COVID-19 in more than a year.
The country’s biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, are already under hard lockdowns.
The new restrictions came as Australia battles to control the highly infectious Delta strain of the coronavirus.
“This is the most serious public health risk we have faced in the territory this year,” Andrew Barr, the chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory, said.
“It is why we are introducing a strict lockdown in response.”