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Australia set to get free virus vaccine

3 weeks ago 11

Australians could be some of the first in the world to receive a coronavirus vaccine if an Oxford University trial proves successful.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce a deal in which he has secured 84 million COVID-19 vaccines depending on the results of a clinical trial coming out of the UK.

Mr Morrison says, if successful, the vaccine could be made available to Australians within six months.

The deal will cost the government $1.7 billion and will mean Australia gets priority access to the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.

If trials prove successful the vaccines will be manufactured in Melbourne, with early access to 3.8 million doses of the Oxford vaccine in January and February, The Australian reports.

Researchers at the University of Queensland are also racing to produce a vaccine.

While there are no guarantees Mr Morrison said Australians will gain free access to either vaccine.

“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.

Everyone will require two doses, the initial and a booster, meaning Australia should have 30 million doses leftover which will be sent to neighbouring island nations 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 Minister for Industry, science and Technology Karen Andrews are expected to address Australians on Monday about the deal.

More to come

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