Australia’s first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are on track to be ready by New Year’s Day.
Vaccine manufacturer CSL, which began producing AstraZeneca’s jab formula on November 9, expects the initial batch to be finished on December 28.
It takes approximately 50 days to make each batch of the vaccine, the company has told News Corp.
Before the jab can be administered clinical trials will have to prove it works and the TGA will have to assess its safety and efficacy. This is unlikely to happen before late January.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has forecast the first doses of any successful COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out from March next year.
“The overall program is tracking well and first doses are still planned for release in the first half of 2021, pending the outcome of clinical trials and regulatory approval,” a CSL spokesperson said.
“There’s still a way to go and our first priority remains the safety and efficacy of the vaccines produced. We are undertaking these manufacturing activities in parallel with the clinical trials and regulatory approvals processes in recognition of the significant urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The AstraZeneca jab, formulated in conjunction with Oxford University, is one of four coronavirus vaccines purchased by the federal government.
Purchasing agreements have also been struck with Pfizer/BioNtech, Novavax and the University of Queensland.
Two vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna have already reported on clinical trials showing their shots were are 95 per cent and 94.5 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19.
Australia’s vaccine agreements include the purchase of 10 million units of the Pfizer vaccine, 33 million units of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, 40 million units of the Novavax vaccine and 51 million doses of the University of Queensland vaccine.
The vaccines — all which are due to be available in 2021 — require two doses to be administered several weeks apart.
Sourced By: Daily Telegraph