Australians are a step closer to guaranteed access to a coronavirus vaccine, as a big international contract has been signed by the federal government to create a local vaccine frontrunner if trials succeed.
In the midst of that pressure to lock up the supply of a coronavirus vaccine, the government has signed an agreement with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca to secure the future COVID-19 vaccine produced by Oxford University, if effective in its trials.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said if the vaccine worked, it would be produced immediately by the Government and made free for all Australians.
“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,” he said.
The Oxford University vaccine is entering its third phase of testing, where thousands of volunteers are being tested to demonstrate its efficacy.
The UK has also moved to shore up its vaccine supply, reserving 100 million doses, but the commitment of the Federal Government is different, ensuring the growth, processing and distribution of vaccines.