Australia returns 500,000 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to S'pore ahead of schedule

More than 84.2 per cent of individuals aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated in Australia, as of Nov. 17. 

Lean Jinghui | November 18, 2021, 12:15 PM

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Australia has returned around 500,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Singapore as part of the dose sharing arrangement between both countries, announced in August 2021.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Nov. 18, the returned doses from Australia will support Singapore's ongoing Covid-19 booster programme to eligible individuals in Singapore.

Details on dose sharing arrangement

Under the dose sharing agreement, Singapore had previously sent around 500,000 vaccine doses to Australia on Sep. 2, to help accelerate its vaccination rollout.

MFA added:

"This dose sharing arrangement is testament to the strong relations between Singapore and Australia, underpinned by our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The health and foreign affairs officials from both countries have worked closely to implement the arrangement. Throughout the pandemic, both countries have also shared best practices to combat Covid-19, cooperated to keep markets open and ensure supply chain connectivity, and worked together to resume two-way quarantine-free travel."

Australia's progress in vaccinations

Australia had been battling a surge caused by the Covid-19 delta variant then, and was reporting record high cases with just over 33 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over fully vaccinated.

According to the latest report from Australia's health authority, more than 84.2 per cent of individuals aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated, as of Nov. 17.

New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory reported the highest vaccination rates, with at least 88.5 per cent fully vaccinated.

The Covid-19 vaccine doses appear to be returned ahead of schedule.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had shared news of the agreement on his Facebook post back then, saying that Australia would return the same amount to Singapore in December 2021.

The returned doses are expected to play a part in Singapore's booster shot programme.

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Top image via Lee Hsien Loong Facebook