This 3.1 million doses thing is very simple. Please stay with me:

Australia was expecting 3.8 million AstraZeneca doses from factories in Europe. About 700k doses have been shipped. The rest? Well we know the European Commission and Italy formally blocked 250k doses last month
As for the remaining millions....

Europe has set up an export control mechanism which means AZ must seek Europe's approval to ship vaccines abroad. Europe has publicly said it does not want more AZ to be sent to countries like Australia while Europe gets done over on supply
Officials in Europe have very publicly said this. And they have told Australian officials behind the scenes too. AstraZeneca knows this is Europe's position, so they have not asked for permission to export the remaining doses because they know it will be knocked back
There is also this issue: AZ is really under the pump at the moment. It is struggling to get enough doses out of its factories. As an indication of how bad things are, AZ planned to supply 180 million doses to the EU in the second quarter but will only deliver 40 million
So there is an open question about whether AZ even has the full 3.1 million doses available to send to Australia, even if Europe didn't stand in the way.
So the Australian government is 100 per cent right to say that all these issues in Europe have affected the rollout in Australia. Australia needed these 3.8 million doses for the early stages while CSL factory in Melbourne ramped up production.
Do the issues in Europe let the government off the hook entirely? No. Why has it taken CSL so long to get going? And even if the 3.1 million doses had been sent, was the system in place to get them in arms ASAP? Questionable, although Brendan Murphy says only issue atm is supply
Another thing to note. When me and my Australian media colleagues in Europe first reported that the 250,000 doses had been blocked, the government tried to play it down and claim it didn't matter. Look at what Greg Hunt said at the time:
"“This is one shipment from one country. This shipment was not factored into our distribution plan for coming weeks."

Hmmmm...
Hunt also said this: "Domestic production starts with one million per week of deliveries from late March and is on track.”

CSL is not producing 1 million doses per week. So Australia's rollout is being crunched from Europe, and at home
While all this is happening, PNG is being slammed by a major outbreak. It needs vaccines. Australia has given up on getting the 3.1 million doses from Europe, but thinks Europe should divert 1 million of those 3.1 million doses to PNG. This is a reasonable request, but...
Morrison wrote to European Commission President early three weeks ago, asking for Europe to not stand in the way of this. Morrison is yet to get a reply. I'm told European officials have said words to effect of 'why should we send jabs to PNG when Oz has domestic production'
When European Commission set up its export controls, the fine print said exports would NOT be blocked to low and middle income countries. PNG was listed as one of these countries. So reasonable question to ask why shouldn't the 1 million doses be sent to PNG?
Anyway, here's a story! Enjoy! smh.com.au/world/europe/a…

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