It’s the first government approval of a Western nation, and a promising sign that things may finally return to normal.
The UK will first vaccinate high-risk patients, such as the elderly, before basically rolling it out as quickly as possible.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the breakthrough means that by Easter “things are going to get better” – a staggering prediction that will raise hopes that normalcy will return around the world and hopefully accelerate the return from international travel.
But what does the UK announcement mean for Australia?
The others include University of Oxford / AstraZeneca, University of Queensland / CSL, Novavax, and COVAX Facility.
In order for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be approved in Australia, it will have to pass our own rigorous testing through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) evaluation and approval processes.
If successful, we would have access to 10 million doses as of early 2021.
These doses are purchased by the Australian government, but will be manufactured in the United States, Belgium and Germany.
In October 2020, the TGA granted an interim determination to Pfizer for this vaccine.
This means that you are eligible to apply for provisional registration with the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
Australia will have the option to purchase additional doses when available.
How important is a vaccine for international travel?
International travel for Australians may be back in play from June, with plans to reactivate flights abroad depending on the availability of a vaccine.
“Our basic plan is that we will probably get a significant amount from the international operation in the next financial year, which is between July and June,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said last month.
“We always assume 50 percent. It depends on the vaccine, but the news about the vaccine looks really positive.”
Studies by Airbus, Boeing and Iarta show that the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 from an aircraft is “very low,” Joyce said.
The breakthrough in the UK means that the chances of flying abroad sooner rather than later have gotten a boost.
What about the other vaccine hopefuls?
The Australian government has invested more than $ 3.3 billion to buy vaccines and help with scientific development.
This gives Australia potential access to multiple vaccine options as they complete the TGA approval process.
If approved for use, it will be available in Australia from early 2021.
The vaccine would be manufactured by the Australian-based multinational biopharmaceutical company CSL in partnership with the developer, the international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
The Oxford vaccine is one of nine vaccines endorsed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership to accelerate vaccine development.
University of Queensland / CSL
The Australian government has provided $ 5 million to support the development of molecular clamp technology for this vaccine.
It is also funded by the Government of Queensland, the International Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), CSL and philanthropic organizations.
The doses of vaccine purchased by the Australian government will be manufactured in Australia at CSL’s Biologics facility in Broadmeadows Victoria.
The vaccine is one of nine vaccines endorsed by CEPI, a global association to accelerate vaccine development.
If approved, it will be available in Australia in the first half of 2021.
40 million doses are expected to be available in Australia during 2021.
The doses for Australia will be manufactured in various locations in Europe.
Currently, 188 countries around the world have entered the COVAX facility.
Participation from countries like Australia means the facility can invest in a diverse portfolio of potential COVID-19 vaccines and support vaccine manufacturers.
Its goal is to mobilize two billion doses for the world by the end of 2021, addressing the acute phase of the pandemic.
COVAX is coordinated by Gavi with the help of member countries, the Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
Moderna created her vaccines with the US National Institutes of Health and already had a clue that they were working, but she said she got the necessary end results that suggest the vaccine is more than 94 percent effective.
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