Prime minister Scott Morrison on Monday said the government has signed a deal with CSL-Ltd to develop two vaccines, one developed by rival AstraZeneca & Oxford University and the other one developed by CSL itself in their labs with the University of Queensland. Morrison said, “Australia needs some hope. Today, we take another significant step to protect the health of Australians against the pandemic.”
The vaccines are in a late-stage clinical trial in Britain, Brazil and South Africa and once cleared will be made available to Australia by January or February next year Morrison added. This comes after, Australia signed a deal with AstraZeneca last month in August to buy their vaccine AZD1222 along with an agreement of intent from CSL-Ltd to manufacture it, but CSL-Ltd announced it would prioritise its own vaccine manufacturing.
Should both the vaccines clear trial successfully, Australia would spend A$1.7billion ($1.24 billion)for nearly 85 million doses, said Morrison. All Australians will be offered doses however, the medical panel will determine the priority list of the vaccine recipients. AstraZeneca’s candidate is seen as a leader in the global race to convey a compelling vaccine against the coronavirus according to a Reuters tally.
Australian shares have gained momentum since the declaration and possibilities of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine. Investors have taken some relief from this arrangement with CSL. Currently, in its first phase of the clinical trial, CSL expects to take over phase 2 & 3 in late 2020.