Australia Locks In Deal To Provide Coronavirus Vaccine To Everyone For Free
Every Australian could get a coronavirus vaccine for free if and when it becomes available.
The Australian government has secured a deal with UK pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca to ensure our country gets 25 million doses of the vaccine being brewed by Oxford University.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to announce the deal later today (August 19) and will reportedly explain that if human trials are successful, we will be able to manufacture the vaccine here and ship it to every person immediately.
"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.
Oxford University's vaccine has entered the third phase of testing, where it's now being trialled on thousands of willing participants.
So far, the previous tests have been promising.
The results of research published in medical journal The Lancet back in June concluded: "ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was safe, tolerated, and immunogenic, while reactogenicity was reduced with paracetamol.
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"A single dose elicited both humoral and cellular responses against SARS-CoV-2, with a booster immunisation augmenting neutralising antibody titres. The preliminary results of this first-in-human clinical trial supported clinical development progression into ongoing phase 2 and 3 trials."
"ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses."
The study, which included 1,077 participants, warned that there is still much distance to be crossed, adding: "Current results focus on immune response measured in the laboratory. Further testing is needed to confirm if vaccine effectively protects against infection."
It's hoped this third phase will shed light on whether we can start mass producing the vaccine for everyone.
The UK has already secured 100 million doses of the vaccine in the hopes it will be successful and Australia is ensuring it has a piece of the pie.
It's unclear when we can expect to see the vaccine to be brought to our shores but the ABC says it could be as early as the end of 2020. What a way to end a bizarre and wild year.
Oxford University's Covid-19 vaccine is one of around 160 being worked on around the world, with several conducted in Australia.
Featured Image Credit: PA