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Australia signs first COVID-19 vaccine deal for 25 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford University candidate

Published on 19/08/20 at 12:34pm
Image credit: Phil Whitehouse,

Australia has signed its first deal to secure doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine for its citizens, inking a partnership with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for their jointly developed candidate known as ChAdOx1.

The deal promises “early access for every Australian”, securing 25 million doses for an undisclosed price, comfortably covering the country’s 25 million population.

“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,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison on announcement of the deal. “And should we be in a position for the trials to be successful, we would hope that this would be made available early next year. If it can be done sooner than that, great.”

A roll out date set for next year allows for further clinical testing and the months needed to manufacture the doses reserved under the deal. Morrison said that Australia would aim to make adoption of the vaccine “as mandatory as you could possibly make it”, with the country aiming for 95% coverage among the public.

Like many other countries around the world, Australia has seen a recent rise in its cases of COVID-19 to a total of 24,000 following relaxation of lockdown rules, though just 438 deaths have occurred in the country to date.

Matt Fellows

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