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MOSCOW, April 7 -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday blamed the slow pace of coronavirus vaccination on a disruption in supplies from overseas, after he was grilled about two million homemade doses being held up by testing, reported Sputnik.
"The challenges Australia has had has been a supply problem. It is pure and simple. There was over three million doses from overseas that were contracted that never came," Morrison told reporters during a news conference.
Only 854,983 vaccine shots have been administered in Australia by the end of March, down from the four million that the government promised in January. Morrison refused to speculate about a new target for April but said that batch testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of both homemade and imported vaccines was factored into the rollout schedule.
"The fact that they actually have to get approved by the relevant authorities and do the batch testing is not a hold-up, it’s a necessary part of the process to guarantee Australian safety," he argued.
The prime minister said he could not give reporters an average of vaccines that the Melbourne pharma company CSL produced every week. He said that the company had previously achieved the mark of 800,000 doses a week, and that "if we can do better than that, then we will."