SYDNEY: The Australian authorities has agreed to buy two extra COVID-19 vaccines in improvement, beefing up the nation’s potential arsenal towards the pandemic to 135 million doses because it goals to finish a mass inoculation programme inside months.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned on Thursday the federal government will purchase 40 million vaccine doses from Novavax , and 10 million from Pfizer and BioNTech .
That provides to the 85 million doses Australia has already dedicated to purchase from AstraZeneca and CSL Ltd ought to trials show profitable, taking the nation’s whole anticipated outlay to A$3.2 billion ($2.3 billion).
“We aren’t placing all our eggs in a single basket,” Morrison informed reporters in Sydney.
Well being Minister Greg Hunt mentioned the Novavax and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which will probably be manufacturd in the USA and Europe, would complement the AstraZeneca and CSL merchandise, which might be manufactured in Australia.
“Which means we are actually in a really sturdy place with the portfolio of 4 totally different vaccines, two protein, one viral vector and one MRMA, which is the Pfizer vaccine, and that’s modern – the world hasn’t had an MRMA vaccine earlier than,” Hunt informed TV broadcaster 9 Community.
The Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines are thought-about to be among the many main candidates within the international race to obtain regulatory approval.
Ought to trials show profitable, Australia expects to obtain the primary batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine in early 2021 and start a mass rollout in March to be accomplished by the tip of the yr.
If all 4 vaccines come to market, Australia and its inhabitants of 26 million individuals will discover itself with extra doses, even permitting for the truth that most of the candidates in improvement require two doses to be efficient.
Australia has mentioned it plans to donate any extra doses to Pacific Island nations and has dedicated to spending round A$525 million to make sure Pacific nations and East Timor obtain full immunisation protection.
Australia is the biggest assist donor to the Pacific islands and has sought in latest months to step up its engagement out of concern it dangers being overshadowed by Chinese language assist and monetary assist.
ZERO LOCAL TRANSMISSION
The announcement of the brand new deliberate vaccine purchases got here as Australia recorded no circumstances of regionally transmitted COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours for the second time in per week. The nation on Sunday recorded the primary day with none native circumstances since early June.
As nationwide case numbers have slowed slowed to fewer than 10 every day, states and territories have been reopening borders and stress-free differing ranges of social distancing restrictions.
Qantas Airways on Thursday mentioned it might enhance the variety of flights between between New South Wales and Victoria states after officers introduced on Wednesday that border restrictions can be lifted later this month.
The nationwide provider will go from the ten return flights it’s at present working every week between Sydney and Melbourne to greater than 250 flights between the 2 states weekly. The Sydney-Melbourne route was one of many busiest on the planet earlier than the pandemic.
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