Affected by the security concerns caused by AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and the threat of Europe to restrict the export of vaccines, Australia has abandoned the goal of vacculating all citizens with the first dose of coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.
“While we want to complete the goal of getting all citizens to get the first dose of coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year,” Australian Prime Minister Morrison said on social media Facebook on the afternoon of April 11, according to Bloomberg.
One of the “uncertainties” Morrison said is that AstraZeneca vaccine was previously accused of being “possible” to be related to rare thrombosis. On April 7, the European Drug Administration and the World Health Organization issued statements confirming the existence of a connection between the two, and many countries later proposed an age limit for AstraZeneca vaccine.
Australia also issued an official statement on April 8th, recommending that people under the age of 50 in the country be vaccinated against Pfizer-BioNTech for the novel coronavirus. The country had previously ordered twice as many Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
In addition, the European Union threatened to restrict the export of vaccines due to the shortage of coronavirus vaccines and poor vaccination. The Italian government blocked the export of 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Australia in early March this year.
Australia’s population is 25.8 million, and about 1.2 million people have been vaccinated with the first dose of coronavirus vaccine. The Australian government had previously promised to allow all citizens to complete the first dose of vaccination by October this year.