The Australian Government is investing a total of $2.3 billion to support home-grown researchers and manufacturers to develop and produce a COVID-19 vaccine, while engaging in strategic international partnerships to support access for Australia and our region.
Under its COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy, the Australian Government is investing $1.7 billion to pre-order 84.8 million doses of vaccine with leading Australian manufacturer CSL Limited (Seqirus) and UK-based AstraZeneca.
On 7 September 2020, the Australian Government announced that should promising trials prove successful for the University of Oxford/Astra Zeneca and the University of Queensland vaccine candidates, more than 80 million doses of the two potential COVID-19 vaccines would be made available for the Australian population, almost entirely manufactured in Melbourne.
This followed from the execution of a binding Heads of Terms between the Australian Government and CSL/Seqirus for the University of Queensland vaccine candidate.
The Government has now entered a final supply agreement with CSL/Seqirus around the supply of 51 million doses of the University of Queensland (UQ)-CSL COVID-19 vaccine candidate, including key terms to support clinical and technical development activities for the vaccine candidate.
Phase IIb/III trials of the UQ vaccine candidate are scheduled to start in early December 2020 in numerous countries and over more than 100 sites. The study will evaluate efficacy, immunogenicity and safety in adults aged 18 years and above.
The Australian Government has also joined the COVAX facility, providing access to a large portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine candidates and manufacturers across the world. The Government’s upfront payment of $123.2 million guarantees we receive offers to purchase a number of vaccine candidates from around the world as they become available, meeting safety and effectiveness standards.
This is Australia’s second commitment to the COVAX facility, with $80 million donated in August to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment – a collaborative effort to provide doses to developing countries, enabling more countries to protect their most vulnerable groups.
Australia’s contribution supports a global coordination effort to ensure equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines, which is essential to reinvigorate the global economy.