Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, says his country is owed more than 3.1 million doses of the vaccine and on Wednesday demanded that Brussels approve the shipments.
The UK has sent vaccines to its overseas territories, including Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, but Australia is thought to be the only country to receive AstraZeneca jabs made in British factories.
A senior Whitehall official told the newspapers that the shipments to Australia did not hinder the UK rollout, which has been one of the quickest in the world.
Downing Street did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Dr Brendan Murphy, a secretary at the Australian department of health, told Sky News last month that Britain had “helped us a lot”.
Asked whether the European Commission would reconsider its position on blocking vaccine exports, a spokesperson said: “Since the implementation of the export authorisation system, Australia has received more than one million doses of vaccines from the EU.”
On Thursday, Australia said it had no plans to stop distributing AstraZeneca’s vaccine after Europe’s drug regulator found possible links to rare blood clots.
Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.