SINGAPORE — Singapore will be sending around 500,000 doses of its existing stock of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to Australia to help it accelerate its vaccination programme.
In exchange, Australia will provide the same quantity of vaccines back to Singapore at a later date, when the city-state draws down on existing supplies vaccinating the rest of the population, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a media statement on Tuesday (31 August).
"These returned doses would come in more useful for Singapore then, potentially as booster doses for specific segments of our population that could benefit from such boosting," the ministry said.
MFA added that Singapore has agreed to this dose-sharing arrangement as it possesses sufficient vaccine supplies to meet its immediate needs, and has made good progress in its national vaccination programme.
The shipment of vaccines will help "Australia accelerate its vaccination programme amidst its current increase in cases caused by the Delta variant", said the ministry.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also put a post on his Facebook page explaining this vaccine dose-sharing arrangement. He also put Australia's vaccine return date to be in December.
"Our two countries enjoy a warm and long-standing friendship, and this is another example of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," he said in his post.
"Glad to support their efforts to get Australians vaccinated as soon as possible. Countries must be united in the battle to quell the pandemic, so that we can all move into the new normal. Singapore is ready to do our bit."
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