Hope as Australia secures two COVID-19 vaccines

 

THE chances of Australians being able to be immunised against COVID-19 have increased with a further two vaccines secured and expected to arrive early next year.

The two newest vaccine candidates, from Novavax and Pfizer/BioNtech, are different types to those already secured by Australia.

But unlike the AstraZeneca and UQ vaccines, the latest acquisitions will not be manufactured in Australia and will instead be imported.

Health Minister Greg Hunt will make the announce today and said it will strengthen the nation's likely access to a "safe and effective" jab in 2021.

 

Two more COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been secured by Australia. Picture: News Regional Media
Two more COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been secured by Australia. Picture: News Regional Media

More than $3.6 billion has now been splashed out 130 million doses of a COVID-19 inoculation from four of the leading candidates in the trials.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said securing multiple different types of vaccines would give Australians the best shot at getting early access if the trials are successful.

"We aren't putting all our eggs in one basket and we will continue to pursue further vaccines should our medical experts recommend them," he said.

"There are no guarantees that these vaccines will prove successful, however our strategy puts Australia at the front of the queue, if our medical experts give the vaccines the green light."

Australia now has two protein vaccines, one mRNA and one viral vector type vaccine in its portfolio.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says securing multiple vaccine candidates increases the nation’s chances at early access. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says securing multiple vaccine candidates increases the nation’s chances at early access. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Mr Hunt said regardless of which vaccines are available first, health and aged care workers as well as elderly and vulnerable people will be the first to gain access.

"The goal and the expectation is that Australians who sought vaccination will be vaccinated within 2021," Minister Hunt said.

A vaccination rollout plan is expected to be taken to the National Cabinet within weeks.

Key vaccination sites will initially include GPs, fever clinics, state and territory vaccination sites and workplaces such as aged care facilities.

The Morrison Government is stressing that the vaccine will not be mandatory, but it will be free to those who want to access it.

It will purchase 40 million doses of the Novavax jab, which will be manufactured in the US and Czech Republic, and 10 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, which will be manufactured in the US, Belgium and Germany.

The Pfizer/BioNtech is a mRNA type vaccine and the Novavax vaccine is a protein type vaccine, similar to AstraZeneca's candidate.

 

Originally published as Hope as Australia secures two COVID-19 vaccines


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