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Australia Set To Begin Manufacturing Covid-19 Vaccine This Month

Australia Set To Begin Manufacturing Covid-19 Vaccine This Month

Healthcare workers are expected to be the first to get the jab around March next year.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Australia is expected to begin manufacturing the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine this month.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed to the Herald that the government is sticking to its original plan of brewing the vaccine on home turf in November.

The trial had to be put on hold in September after a patient became sick, which isn't really a surprise in clinical trials. Several days later, the research resumed and scientists went back to seeing if their specific vaccine was the best shot at killing the coronavirus.

Greg Hunt revealed that Australia will not only be making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, but three others, which include the jab from the University of Queensland.

PA

He hopes Aussies will be able to get vaccinated from early next year, with healthcare workers set to be the first ones allowed to line up.

The Health Minister told News Corp: "The evidence on the first half of 2021 is strengthening and the evidence on first quarter of 2021 is strengthening and it's likely that new contracts would also involve first quarter delivery so you know we're thinking March may be possible.

"The expectation is that everybody who sought vaccination would be vaccinated well within 2021. Our goal is to have the borders open, subject to vaccination and health advice, by the end of 2021."

After healthcare workers, 'essential' staff are expected to be the next ones allowed to get the vaccine and then it will be opened up to the general public.

Hopes have been high that the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine might be one of the first on the market after its successful Phase 1 and 2 trials.

The vaccine has been in Phase 3 for the last few months, which has involved some 30,000 participants in the US as well as in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. Phase 3 trials in vaccines often involve thousands of participants and can last several years.

A deal has been signed which gives Australians priority access to the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the University of Queensland/CSL vaccine, which will be manufactured in Melbourne.

The Australian government will spend more than $1.7 billion to secure 84.8m doses.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Coronavirus, Australia