Economy

Australia expects to receive AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine within months

Australian biotech giant CSL Ltd said on Monday it would manufacture two different COVID-19 vaccine candidates, with the earliest doses due to reach the market early next year, sending its shares almost 3% higher.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government has struck a manufacturing deal with CSL Ltd (AX:) to produce an AstraZeneca (L:) and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine, with 3.8 million doses to be delivered in January and February 2021.

Rao said "no side effects" were found in the vaccine's phase 1 trial.

Australia in August said it would buy the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the deal appeared in some doubt in August after CSL said it was prioritising its own rival vaccine.

The Oxford University Vaccine is now being trailed and if all goes to plan, the government said it will get 84 million doses, with 3.8 million rolled out as early as January. These trials will be conducted on 380 volunteers, who will be screened for four days after receiving the vaccine shots.

The majority of the vaccines are expected to be manufactured in Melbourne.

First doses of that vaccine are scheduled for release in early 2021, depending on the results of the latest human trials.

More news: Ten more imported COVID-19 cases reported in Mainland China

While they are not ready to be rolled out yet, and there are no guarantees that they will be, the Oxford vaccine is seen globally as looking particularly promising.

Each person would have a dose of one vaccine followed by a second dose of the same one within a few weeks.

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said, "We are proud of the contributions that UQ researchers have been making in response to the COVID19 pandemic".

EV Rao, Principal Investigator of the trial at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Faculty of Medical Sciences, said, "The Phase I of the trial is still continuing and we are planning to start Phase II trial shortly".

"It's not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine", he said.

AstraZeneca has established a separate commercial arrangement with the Australian Government to supply the AZD1222 vaccine to Australia once it successfully completes clinical trials. "In 1918 we produced a vaccine for the Spanish influenza pandemic; in 2009 we developed a vaccine for the swine flu pandemic, and now we are incredibly proud to use our skills, technology and facilities to help ensure Australia - and the world - can access a COVID19 vaccine", Mr Perreault said.

"By securing the production and supply agreements, Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a safe and effective vaccine, should it pass late-stage testing".



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