PM: ‘PNG backed Australia in WW2, Australia to back PNG with vaccine’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has cited the World War Two Kokoda Campaign to defend his decision to send 8,000 vaccines to PNG to help curb an escalating coronavirus outbreak in the Pacific island nation. Questioned during a press conference about how this decision might appear to be placing PNG before Australia, Mr Morrison said helping Pacific neighbours was part of Australia’s duty as a global citizen. “I think Australians understand that that is one of our responsibilities … as an advanced nation that has had such incredible success in managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. Mr Morrison urged Australians to “be generous in spirit” when it comes to poorer neighbouring nations. “I mean we all know the Kokoda story. They were there for us. We will be there for them.” The Morrison government announced today it would immediately to gift 8,000 doses of Australia’s domestic COVID-19 vaccine stocks to front front-line health workers in PNG from next week.

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