Australians could be among the first in the world to receive a coronavirus vaccine if an Oxford University trial proves successful.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Monday announce he has secured a supply of 84 million COVID-19 vaccines, subject to the results of a UK clinical trial.
The deal will cost the Government $1.7 billion and will mean Australia gets priority access to the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.
If successful, Mr Morrison says Australia will have early access to 3.8 million doses in January and February 2021 for vulnerable people and frontline health workers.
“By securing the production and supply agreements, Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a safe and effective vaccine, should it pass late-stage testing,” he said.
About 95 per cent of the vaccines would be manufactured in Melbourne at CSL’s Broadmeadows biotech manufacturing facility.
Each batch of doses will take about one month to manufacture.
Researchers at the University of Queensland are also racing to produce a vaccine with preclinical testing showing the vaccine is effective in animal models.
If successful, Australia will have access to 51 million doses of the UQ vaccine from mid-2021.
While there are no guarantees, Mr Morrison said Australians would gain free access to either vaccine.
Everyone will require two doses, the initial and a booster, meaning Australia should have 30 million doses left over that will be sent to the Pacific and Southeast Asia to help immunise 15 million residents.
The Oxford University trial is one of the most advanced in the world, currently into stage three of trials.
The Prime Minister, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Karen Andrews are expected to address Australians on Monday about the deal.
Ms Andrews said the agreements show what can be achieved when researchers and industry work together.
A $24.7 million deal with Becton Dickinson announced last month will ensure a supply of 100 million needles and syringes for the vaccines.
More to come