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All but one state and territorial leaders will meet face to face for the last meeting of the year of the National Cabinet.

It comes amid news that the government has terminated its billion-dollar deal with the potential vaccine from the University of Queensland and global biotech company CSL, after several trial participants returned false positive test results. HIV, reports the Sydney morning herald.

The Morrison government had agreed to buy more than 50 million doses of the vaccine, but clinical trials have stopped.

December 2020
Australian leaders at a group event at The Lodge in Canberra. (Facebook)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison shared some photos from the meeting.

“After a long and difficult year, it was good to meet in person with Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers at The Lodge in Canberra for a special reception with the Governor General,” Morrison wrote in a post on social media Thursday night.

But Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan has refused to join the meeting in person.

December 2020
The leaders pose for a photo in front of the National Cabinet. (Facebook)
South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall is among the leaders present at today’s 31st meeting today, including Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, the Prime Minister of New South Wales. Gladys Berejiklian, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, ACT Senior Minister Andrew Barr, Northern Territory Senior Minister Michael Gunner, and Tasman Prime Minister Peter Gutwein.
A researcher at a Jenner Institute laboratory in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
A researcher at a Jenner Institute laboratory in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. (AP)

The first doses of COVID-19 are expected to be administered in March to highest-risk and front-line workers.

Yesterday, Morrison told 2GB’s Ray Hadley that he anticipates vaccines could start “a little earlier” than the scheduled start date for March.

The first vaccine is expected to be approved for use in late January.

The vaccine will also be key to reopening Australia’s international borders.

Nurses applaud Margaret Keenan, 90, back in her ward after receiving the first Pfizer covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital.
Nurses applaud Margaret Keenan, 90, back in her ward after receiving the first Pfizer covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital. (PENNSYLVANIA)

Australia’s agreement with four potential vaccine programs has brought the country’s vaccine investment program to more than $ 3.5 billion

30 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford are being prepared, while the agreement with Novavax includes 40 million doses of its candidate, NVX-CoV2373.

Ten million doses of Pfizer’s mRNA-based candidate will be available to Australians, if successful against COVID-19.


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