CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that his government has secured an additional 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine as the country continues to battle the third wave of the pandemic.
Morrison announced that the 1 million Moderna doses from the European Union member states will arrive within the next week and go directly to local community pharmacies across the country, reports Xinhua news agency.
"That means everyone from 12 to 59 can go along to the community pharmacy where Moderna is being administered," he said.
It comes as Australia reported 1,669 new locally acquired Covid-19 infections on Sunday morning, which increased the overall infection tally to 71,955. Meanwhile, the nationwide death toll stood at 1,084.
Of the new cases, 1,262 were from New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state and current epicentre of the pandemic, where the health department also recorded seven deaths.
"There have been 177 Covid-19 related deaths in NSW since June 16," said the statement from NSW Health. Victoria, the second-most populous state, reported a further 392 new local cases, while the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) registered 15 fresh infections.
The government on Sunday also launched a new vaccine campaign aimed at those who are hesitant about the jab, which mobilises all Australians to make the decision to get inoculated. According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, 81 per cent of Australians said they are willing to get vaccinated based on the latest research.
To date, about 67 per cent of the Australian population aged 16 and over has had at least one vaccine dose and 42 per cent are fully inoculated, according to the Department of Health. (IANS)