Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says there is no change to the number of doses the company has contracted to deliver to Australia during 2021, which contradicts reports claiming that the Morrison government had secured a “game-changing deal” to triple their access to coups.
The prime minister, who has been under significant political pressure due to the slow launch of the vaccine, the pressure that has increased during the Sydney shutdown, embarked on a media blitz on Friday to argue that the pace of the launch of the vaccine was speeding up. .
The prime minister’s comments came before New South Wales confirmed 44 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases, including 29 in which people were infectious in the community, and ahead of a national cabinet meeting later on Friday. .
During Friday’s media blitz, Morrison told 2GB that Australia was receiving 1.7 million doses of Pfizer per month in June. He said that this month it would increase to 2.8 million doses and that in August Australia would receive 4.5 million doses, “so that’s a big increase.”
Morrison said this was something that federal health secretary Brendan Murphy and health minister Greg Hunt had been working on with Pfizer. “We are in constant contact with them,” the prime minister said.
He said the government was always trying to advance deliveries “and this is very, very welcome” and “that work has paid off.”
Morrison said the government would also ensure that another 1,300 GPs administered doses next month and, with current inoculation rates, it is now highly likely that all eligible Australians will be offered a dose before the end of the year.
But Pfizer issued a statement saying there was no change to the number of doses the company had agreed to deliver to Australia.
“The total quantity of 40 million doses that we have contracted to deliver to Australia during 2021 has not changed,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to work closely with the government to support its implementation program.”
In addition to the confusion on Friday about what exactly had changed, Morrison’s numbers from Friday seem consistent with what Hunt said would happen earlier this week. On July 5, Hunt said Australia would get 2.8 million doses of Pfizer “this month.”
“That is an increase of 400,000 compared to what was expected, so we have been able to secure them by working with Pfizer in Australia and Pfizer internationally,” Hunt said.
Hunt said “2.8 million will average about 700,000 a week, but it starts at 300, 500, a million and a million over the course.”
A spokesman for the prime minister said the change Morrison pointed out on Friday was that supply figures for the month of August were higher than expected.
The absolute number of deliveries that Pfizer was shipping to Australia in 2021 had not changed, but there was a new phase in the program.
“As of July 19, Pfizer’s supply of Australia now plans to increase to approximately 1 million doses per week,” Morrison’s spokesman said. “This compares with an average of 300,000 to 350,000 per week in May and June.”
The government now expects to receive 4.5 million deliveries in August. But Morrison’s spokesman cautioned that “due to the nature of the pandemic vaccine supply, these figures are subject to change and will be confirmed closer to the delivery date.”
Morrison told Seven Network that the government had been “constantly working with [Pfizer] for many months to advance the offer ”.
“We will go to 4.5 million next August. That is a real improvement on what we are seeing with Pfizer. We’re just making sure we can get everything we can from Pfizer by taking it forward. “
Labor leader Anthony Albanese argued that Friday’s phase shift was more of a twist than a substance.
“If the government puts as much effort into making deals with drug companies to gain access to vaccines as it does in marketing and spinning for its own failures, then Australians would be better off.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism