Australia’s leader signalled the country could reopen faster, thanks to a boost in its stock of the Pfizer vaccine by four million doses.
As Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed Friday its a major swap deal with Britain.
“The plane’s on the tarmac now, it will be leaving tomorrow, and those doses will be coming over the course of the next few weeks”
This means Australia will have double its September supply of the vaccine.
Morrison says the extra doses could help hit a vaccination rate of 70% a national target that under his plan would see greater freedoms for inoculated people.
“This will enable us to bring forward significantly the opportunity for Australia to open up again under the national plan. The bringing forward of these doses I think should be a great cause for hope right around the country.”
However, Australia’s largest cities Sydney and Melbourne remain in the grip of a third wave of infections – with escalating spikes of the virus’ Delta variant.
The state of New South Wales recorded another pandemic high of over 1,400 cases and a dozen deaths over the past 24 hours.
Many virus- free states have closed borders, and are reluctant to reopen them, given the surge in Delta cases.
State governments like Queensland want to see detailed studies on how COVID-19 affects children, before deciding whether to relax border rules.
That’s drawn criticism from the federal government.
And comes as Morrison wants lockdowns to end and an economic turnaround ahead of an election next year.