Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday called on the European Union (EU) to release doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Morrison denies his government has presented the public with overly rosy assessments about the state of its Covid-19 vaccine rollout, as he steps up calls for the EU to allow 3.1m outstanding AstraZeneca doses to be shipped to Australia.
Morrison said that delays to Australia's vaccine rollout were a matter of "straightforward maths" with AstraZeneca blocked from exporting more than 3 million doses, according to reports. "It's straightforward maths - 3.1 million out of 3.8 million doses did not come to Australia," he said.
Morrison has previously announced that 1 million of the vaccines will be redirected to Papua New Guinea (PNG) if they are allowed to leave Europe. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister said he would write to the European asking that they be exported.
Morrison was joined by Brendan Murphy, the Secretary of the Department of Health, who said that the domestic production of AstraZeneca vaccines was continuing to escalate but had not reached the goal of manufacturing 1 million doses per week.
Morrison has previously announced that 1 million of the vaccines will be redirected to Papua New Guinea (PNG) if they are allowed to leave Europe.