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Australia Signs Vaccine Deal

19 August 2020 by News Desk

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has signed of a letter of intent with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca to manufacture 25 million doses of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in the world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian,” the Prime Minister said.

Should the COVID-19 vaccine prove successful, every person in Australia will get a free dose, the Prime Minister said.

Australia’s Department of Health will decide who will be priority candidates to get the vaccine first.

A 95 per cent vaccination rate would be needed and the prospect of making vaccination mandatory has also been raised.

The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, wants wealthy countries to join the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility for sharing promising vaccine candidates with developing countries.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism. Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each country’s national interest”.

The approval process for the vaccine is expected to be concluded late this year or early next year.

The Australian government has also announced a contract with a US company to supply 100 million needles and syringes at a cost of $24.7million.

There are currently 167 vaccine candidtes in pre-clinical and clinical trials around the world, including 29 undergoing clinical trials in humans.

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