SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian government has struck a deal with CSL to produce two COVID-19 vaccines: one developed by AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) and the University of Oxford and one developed in CSL's own laboratories in conjunction with the University of Queensland, the University of Queensland said on Monday Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The country expects to receive the first batches of the potential vaccine in January.
“Australia needs hope,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra. “Today we are taking another important step to protect the health of Australians from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Health Secretary Greg Hunt said the scientists leading the development of both vaccines said their latest data suggests both drugs will offer “years of protection” against the coronavirus.
Morrison said CSL is expected to ship 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is currently in its final phase of clinical trials in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, to Australia in January and February next year.
AstraZeneca with its potential vaccine AZD1222 is considered a leader in the global race to obtain the first effective drug for the prevention of COVID-19.
(Colin Packham in Sydney, with contributions by Renju José in Sydney. Translated by Olga Vishnevskaya. Editor Anna Kozlova)