SYDNEY AFP, 18 Aug, 2020- Australia has secured access to a “promising” potential coronavirus vaccine, the prime minister announced Tuesday, saying the country would manufacture it and offer free doses to the entire population.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia had reached a deal with Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to receive the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with Oxford University.
“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.
“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.” The Oxford vaccine is one of five globally in Phase 3 efficacy trials, and researchers hope to have results by the end of the year.
It is the first such deal for Australia, and Morrison said his government was also in talks with “many parties around the world” over other potential vaccines as well as supporting local scientists in their efforts.