The Australian government has secured another 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in a deal with Britain as the country continued to battle the third wave of COVID-19 infections.
Prime Minister (PM) Scott Morrison announced the deal in Canberra on Friday, saying the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses would arrive in Australia in the coming weeks.
The announcement came after 500,000 doses from Singapore, which were secured in a swap deal announced on Tuesday.
Friday was Australia's another record day of the COVID-19 infections, with a record 1,657 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 reported across the country.
Of the new cases, 1,431 were from New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, where the state health department also recorded 12 deaths on Friday morning.
"There have been 119 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since 16 June 2021," said the statement from NSW Health.
Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 208 new local cases. And the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reported another 18 new local cases, only three of which were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr described the figures as troubling and urged more Canberrans to get tested.
So far about 60.5 percent of Australian adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 36.4 percent were fully vaccinated.
At the current pace of 8,51,354 second doses a week, Australia can expect 70 per cent of the adult population to be fully vaccinated by late October 2021, according to The Australian Broadcasting Corporation.