Aussies to get free UQ COVID vaccine
An agreement has been reached to supply Australians with the University of Queensland's coronavirus vaccine with first doses expected to be available from mid-next year, if it proves safe and effective.
The agreement between Australian biotechnology company CSL and the Australian Government for 51 million doses is based on people needing two shots of the vaccine.
CSL also announced Monday it had signed a second agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the expected manufacture of 30 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine candidate for supply to Australia.
First doses of that vaccine are scheduled for release in early 2021, depending on the results of the latest human trials.
More than 100 vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, have been in development since the coronavirus crisis began in January.
"The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a high level of urgency to the task of developing a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and to manufacture a successful vaccine at high quality and in sufficient quantities," said CSL CEO and managing director Paul Perreault.
He said CSL had been working at pace to respond to the pandemic and had invested significant resources in the rapid development and large-scale manufacture of the UQ vaccine, dubbed S-clamp.
"Together with partners including the University of Queensland and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), our development and manufacturing teams have been working extremely hard to advance this program to ensure the availability of a safe and effective vaccine should clinical studies prove successful," he said.
The first human trial of the UQ vaccine began in July, with no major complications reported so far but how it fares in much larger studies is impossible to predict.
Production of the vaccine to support late stage clinical trials has begun at CSL's manufacturing facilities in Melbourne.
Originally published as Aussies to get free UQ COVID vaccine