The Morrison Government must urgently explain what it is doing to ensure supplies of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine reach Australia.
Just last month, Greg Hunt assured Australians that “the [European Union] regulatory steps are not aimed at Australia, and not expected to affect Australia”.
But now, Australia has become the only country in the world to be impacted by the EU’s export controls.
The situation is concerning because the Therapeutic Goods Administration is yet to approve the version of the vaccine that CSL is manufacturing in Australia.
The TGA’s experts should take all the time they need to ensure the quality and safety of the CSL version.
But in the meantime, the Government must ensure that Australians have access to overseas doses – doses that were meant to arrive in Australia by February.
The Government must also come clean about what it knew about this situation, and when.
As reported today, Italy lodged its objection last Friday, and AstraZeneca was informed on Tuesday.
Either the Morrison Government has been in the dark for a week, or it knew but didn’t tell Australians.
It’s time for Greg Hunt to stop the spin and be honest with Australians about what he knew, and how he’s resolving this situation.
This Government said 4 million Australians would be vaccinated by the end of March – they need to get the vaccine rollout back on track.