CANBERRA, Aug 19: Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, if it proves successful, through an agreement between the Australian Government and UK-based drug company AstraZeneca.
Under the deal, every single Australian will be able to receive the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for free, should trials prove successful, safe and effective.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Oxford University trial was in a phase three stage and more work was needed to prove its viability.
“The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian,” the Prime Minister said.
“If this vaccine proves successful, we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians.
“However, there is no guarantee that this, or any other, vaccine will be successful, which is why we are continuing our discussions with many parties around the world while backing our own researchers at the same time to find a vaccine.
“We are taking advice from Australia’s best medical and scientific expertise to ensure that the Government’s work to select, produce and purchase COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is based on the best available knowledge.”
The Prime Minister also remains committed to ensuring early access to the vaccine for countries in our Pacific family, as well as regional partners in Southeast Asia.
The Government has also released Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy, guided by a group of medical and industry experts.
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