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Australia to Receive First Batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

Australia will receive the first doses of AstraZeneca and Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, if trials are proven successful.

Last August, Australia signed a preliminary agreement with AstraZeneca for enough doses for its population of nearly 26 million, which would be manufactured locally by pharmaceutical company CSL.

According to Prime Minister Scott Marrison, Australia expects to receive its first batches of the potential vaccine in January, as the number of new daily infections in the country’s virus hotspot fell to a 10-week low.

That deal appeared in some doubt when CSL said its priority was manufacturing an alternative potential vaccine developed with the University of Queensland (UQ).

Agreeing to a deal to overcome the potential roadblock, Australia will now also buy 51 million doses of the UQ vaccine.

It will take possession of the first 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in January and February 2021, and then receive a further 30 million doses, Morrison will say in extracts from an announcement sent to Reuters.

AstraZeneca’s candidate is seen as a frontrunner in a global race to deliver an effective coronavirus vaccine.

“Australians will be among the first in the world to receive a safe and effective vaccine, should it pass late-stage testing,” Morrison will say.

Health officials are discussing who will receive the first doses if trials are successful.