The 25 million Australians will have free access to the potential vaccine against Covid-19 that the drugmaker AstraZeneca is developing with the University of Oxford.
Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister who announced that under an agreement concluded with this drug manufacturer, this vaccine, whose clinical trials are very advanced, will be available at zero francs to the entire population, reports CNN.
According to this agreement, formalized for the time being by the signing of a letter of intent, the Australian government would manufacture the vaccine once its effectiveness has been proven. It would offer free doses to all its citizens. And while there is no guarantee that this or any other vaccine will be successful, Australia recognizes that the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine project is ‘one of the best prospects in the world today’.
The other protocols of the agreement, particularly the price and the distribution modalities, will be agreed upon later in a final formal agreement. But the Australian government says it is willing to spend billions of dollars to have a vaccine against Covid-19, says Scott Morrison.
This is the first such agreement that Australia has signed. Scott Morrison said his administration is also discussing potential vaccines with many interlocutors around the world and supporting local researchers’ efforts. However, the country has not yet signed a final agreement with AstraZeneca on the vaccine’s price and has not appointed a local manufacturer.
Five vaccines – three in western countries and two in China – are in phase 3 trials for thousands of people, including one from Oxford University. AstraZeneca also has agreements with the US, Europe, and Brazil. Another agreement between the Vaccine Alliance and Gavi is that India will manufacture Oxford vaccines for distribution in 57 developing countries.
The United States have ordered most of the first future vaccines developed by Western companies. Scott Morrison assured that Australia would remain committed to the fact that Pacific countries and their partners in Southeast Asia will be able to quickly obtain future vaccines.