Minister of Health Greg Hunt has reported Australia is in “advanced negotiations” to have Down Under produced coronavirus vaccine.
His comments follow a news that Australia is days away from signing a deal to develop its “promising” vaccine with Oxford University.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that the federal government is in the final stages of negotiations to produce the drug from the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca with a manufacturer.
The UK-based corporation recently signed the first vaccine supply agreement agreed by the European Union, agreeing to provide 400 doses of experimental vaccine AZD1222.
Mr Hunt said a vaccine was close to “optimistic,” but declined to confirm details.
“We are in advanced negotiations with a range of different companies with regards to a vaccine,” Mr Hunt told Sky News on Sunday morning.
“I am now on the basis of our best advice genuinely more optimistic.
“I think the work is moving closer to a vaccine.”
While optimistic, Mr Hunt said it was still most likely a vaccine would be available next year at the earliest.
“Before then, then that would be an outstanding result, not just for Australia but for the world,” he said.