Vaccine diplomacy trip for trade minister

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Trade Minister Dan Tehan is being sent on a mission to Europe to try and shore up Australia's vaccine supplies.

Mr Tehan will meet with the director-general of the World Trade Organisation and his counterparts from Germany and France.

He plans to discuss export restrictions placed on vaccines bound for Australia.

The prime minister and others have been highly critical of the fact more than three million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines destined for Australia have been held up in Europe.

European authorities have imposed some export controls to ensure enough stock for their citizens.

The supply issues are even more critical now Australia is relying much more heavily on Pfizer vaccines produced overseas for its national vaccine rollout.

Mr Tehan is also expected to raise concerns on behalf of New Zealand, which has experienced similar issues.

He will also head to the United Kingdom to discuss a free trade agreement.