Government moves to ease concerns over next month’s Pfizer supply

Paul Hayes

24/09/2021 5:12:32 PM

The Federal Government says Pfizer has confirmed it will meet its scheduled delivery following reports of a potential shortfall.

Box of Pfizer vaccine vials
The head of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce said Australia will be ‘receiving the nine million doses we expect in October’. (Image: AAP)

After a week of state and territory leaders expressing concern over whether Pfizer would deliver its entire supply of vaccine doses for October, the pharmaceutical company has confirmed its scheduled delivery.
‘We are receiving the nine million doses we expect in October,’ Lieutenant General John Frewen, head of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce, told reporters on Friday afternoon.
‘There will be nine million doses of Pfizer in each month for the rest of the year.’
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews first raised a ‘problem’ with supply on Monday following last week’s National Cabinet meeting.
‘I don’t know if it is resolved yet or how big a problem it is. There is an issue with Pfizer supply in October,’ Premier Andrews told reporters on Monday.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr also discussed the issue during the week, saying ‘uncertainty [of Pfizer supply] makes it difficult to open up new bookings earlier’ and that he had heard ‘anecdotal reports’ of appointments being cancelled across the primary healthcare network.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said, ‘There are some issues just about how much [Pfizer] we’re actually getting’.
According to General Frewen, however, the issue raised in last week’s National Cabinet meeting stemmed from the fact Pfizer only confirmed deliveries for the first two weeks of October, rather than the four-weekly update it usually provides.
‘They’ve now come through [and] confirmed the third week for us and assured us that we will get our full quota,’ he said.
General Frewen’s assurances of supply come after a report in The Guardian on Friday morning that said states and territories had been told their Pfizer allocations would decrease from 10.9 million doses in September to 8.4 million in October.
Citing leaked figures from a National Cabinet communication, the publication said state and territory leaders were warned of a 2.45 million drop in ‘allocated supply’, with the predicted shortfall expected to result in primary care receiving two million fewer doses in October.
But a spokesperson for Operation COVID Shield told newsGP on Wednesday that Pfizer had informed the Government it still anticipated being able to deliver its full shipment as planned.
‘Operation COVID Shield is currently finalising the October weekly delivery schedule with Pfizer,’ the spokesperson said. ‘[We] will be releasing an updated Allocations Horizons [document] once the details of the weekly deliveries are confirmed.’
And speaking earlier in the week, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the problem had been addressed by bringing forward the arrival of Pfizer vaccines from the UK as part of a previously-announced dose swap.
‘Every state and territory is receiving their full allocations [of Pfizer],’ he said on Monday. ‘We’ve been able to ensure that our UK doses arrived earlier and, as a consequence of that, we have 1.9 million doses of mRNA that are available for this week.
‘Next week, there’s an increase in that, and the following week we’ll also see well over 1.9 million doses in the first week of October.’
National Cabinet figures indicate these mRNA vaccine supplies include Moderna, which has been earmarked for use in pharmacies.
‘We will get two million doses of Moderna this month and then we are expecting three million doses of Moderna for the rest of the year as well,’ General Frewen said on Friday.
General Frewen also said that while Pfizer has yet to confirm supplies for November and December, Australia will have enough doses to vaccinate everyone in the country by next month.
‘I do encourage everybody now who hasn’t yet stepped forward to get vaccinated to please do so,’ he said. ‘The supply is now increasingly available, we’ve got more points of presence, the pharmacies have come online now with Moderna and pumping that through at a great speed.’
Friday marked a major milestone in Australia’s vaccine rollout, with more than 50% of people aged 16 and older becoming fully vaccinated. In addition, 21% of Australians aged 12–15 have received at least one dose of vaccine.
Australia has so far administered over 26 million COVID vaccines doses, and more than half of those have been delivered in general practice.
Minister Hunt this week praised the ‘amazing’ efforts of general practices, calling them the ‘foundation’ of the COVID vaccine rollout.
‘Each and every one of the more than 4500 general practices administering COVID-19 vaccines is playing a vital role not just for the country, but their local communities,’ he told newsGP.
‘As supply continues to increase, more GPs will transition to having Pfizer vaccines available, as well as an uncapped supply of AstraZeneca.

‘Australians continue to rise to the challenge to be vaccinated and our GPs are vital to this process.’
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Dr Slavko Doslo   27/09/2021 1:53:01 PM

Hi to anyone familiar with this
WHY is on Pfizer and Moderna covid 19 vial written
" Suspension for intramuscular injection For Use Under Emergency Use Authorisation"
What than means
Thank you for explanations
As hear from my patient who originates from USA what that means,
but I do not believe that you would not like to hear that truth, ( or misinformation)
please explore deeper