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Australia secures a further 50m COVID-19 vaccine doses from Novavax and Pfizer/BioNTech

pharmafile | November 5, 2020 | News story | Manufacturing and Production Australia, COVID-19, Vaccine 

Two more COVID-19 vaccine distribution deals have been signed by the Australian Government, reserving a further 50 million doses to potentially roll out to its citizens in the coming months.

The new deals commit to buy 10 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine candidate BNT162b2, and 40 million doses of Novavax’s NVX-CoV2373.

These two latest deals build on the base of 85 million vaccine doses that the country has already secured of candidates from CSL and AstraZeneca, which is developing its candidate in partnership with the University of Oxford. In total, the Australian Government has spent $2.3 billion so far on the programme.

In terms of the earlier deals, the AstraZeneca and CSL doses will be manufactured in Australia. However, the country does not currently have the capacity to produce mRNA vaccines. These two additional deals bring in additional doses from the US and Europe, which, crucially are of different types.

Australian Minister for Health Greg Hunt said that this was key to the nation’s planned inoculation programme, telling Nine Network: “We are now in a very strong position with the portfolio of four different vaccines, two protein, one viral vector and one mRNA, which is the Pfizer vaccine, and that’s innovative – the world hasn’t had an mRNA vaccine before.”

Australia plans to launch a mass vaccination of its citizens across the country in March next year on the back of these deals.

Matt Fellows

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