Prime Minister Scott Morrison says if the vaccine proves successful, every single Australian will be able to receive it for free.
PM Scott Morrison toured the AstraZeneca laboratories in Macquarie Park, Northern Sydney.
Australia has ordered 25 million doses of Oxford University’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, the country’s prime minister said.
“Under the deal, every single Australian will be able to receive the University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for free, should trials prove successful, safe and effective,” Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.
The vaccine, called AZD1222, is being developed by Britain’s University of Oxford and is licensed to British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Mr Morrison said the Oxford University trial of the vaccine was in a phase-three stage and more work was needed to prove its viability.
But if the vaccine proved successful, Australia plans to manufacture and supply vaccines “straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians”, Mr Morrison said.
In a radio interview on Wednesday, the Australian leader said he is hopeful the vaccine would be made available early next year.
“If it can be done sooner than that, great,” he told Melbourne’s 3AW radio station.
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