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A continuing spat between the EU and Australia over the supply of AstraZeneca to the latter from the former risks drawing in the UK after it emerged that over 700k doses have been flown from the UK to Australia since late February.
- Yesterday, ministers in Canberra criticised the EU for effectively blocking doses of the AZ vaccine ordered by Australia, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stating that "If you're not approving, it's the same as effectively you're blocking,"
- The Sydney Morning Herald then reported that 717k doses of the AZ vaccine had been shipped from the UK since 28 February, which could see significant pressure placed on UK PM Boris Johnson as to why this was not public knowledge earlier.
- The UK is currently in the midst of a small vaccine supply crunch as is scales back its offer of first doses in an effort to ensure those due their second jabs receive them within the 12 week timeframe required to ensure maximum efficacy.
- An unnamed Whitehall official said to the SMH that the doses sent to Australia have not materially impacted the UK rollout, but it is the lack of transparency that may raise political and public ire.