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Extra Pfizer doses arrive from UK

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Nearly half a million Pfizer vaccines from the UK arrived in Sydney last night in the first instalment of a deal that will see four million doses sent to Australia this month.

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More than 450,000 doses arrived in two flights to Sydney last night – higher than the 190,000 originally expected to arrive in the first batch.

The rest of the four million doses agreed in the deal, announced by the prime minister on Friday, will arrive in the next three weeks.

It comes as 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine secured by the Federal Government from Singapore are now being dispatched around the country after getting the nod of approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The additional supplies will support the national COVID-19 response plan to get to 70 and 80 per cent vaccination targets to enable restrictions to be eased.

More than 35 per cent of Australia’s population aged over 16 is fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Federal Government.

Just over 37 per cent of South Australians over 16 are fully vaccinated.

However, there remains a dispute regarding the vaccine targets set in the national plan.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan has long argued that he won’t be rushing to open his borders, saying on Sunday it would have to be a vaccination rate of 80 to 90 per cent before he sets a date to end restrictions.

“There seems to be some kind of other illness out there other than COVID which seems to infect Liberal politicians in NSW, whereby they think everyone else wants COVID,” McGowan said.

“I cannot think for the life of me, why they think we want to import it here, before such time, we can have, as many people as humanly possible, vaccinated.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has expressed similar reluctance to automatically open her borders once vaccination reaches 80 per cent.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said he has an ambition to get to 90 per cent, but said he will follow the national plan goals of 70 and 80 per cent.

“But in terms of opening at 80 per cent – and this is absolutely one thing that I want to be absolutely clear with Tasmanians about – we’re not going to be opening our borders at a time that’s going to put our health at risk,” he said.

NSW reported 1485 new virus and three deaths on Sunday, bringing the toll in this outbreak to 126. Victoria recorded a further 183 new virus cases on Sunday.

-AAP

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