- The CMO of Australia, Mr Paul Kelly, stated that the Australian federal government is unable to secure more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
- During the negotiations, Brooklyn-based Pfizer offered almost 10 million doses to the Australian government, due to be delivered.
- Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine would be made available in the market once the TGA gives a green light.
Australia is in negotiations with US pharma giant Pfizer Inc and several other vaccine manufacturers hoping to secure more COVID-19 vaccine contracts. However, according to some media reports, the Australian government has not been able to get more doses from Pfizer despite multiple discussions. Meanwhile, a section of health experts emphasises that the current vaccine reserves are already good enough to save the lives of many Aussies.
Let us deep dive and discuss in detail-
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine out of reach for Australians
Australia’s CMO Paul Kelly stated that the Australian federal government is unable to ensure more doses of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)-BioNTech SE’s (Nasdaq:BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine. However, health officials reassure Australians that the vaccine manufactured by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc (LON:AZN) will protect them.
Moreover, the rising concern of whether the country should be using Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is ultimately answered as it is not available readily. In the negotiations with the New York-headquartered pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer offered almost 10 million doses to the Australian government, due to be delivered.
Besides, there is the potential to obtain more vaccines via the COVAX agreement. However, there is no certainty that it will happen.
Advantages of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine to Australians
A considerable advantage of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is that it is manufactured in Australia. The vaccine will be available after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) gives its green light, which the country anticipates in February 2021.
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CMO Paul Kelly stated that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is a high-quality vaccine and is effective and safe. The Australian regulatory body will be looking at these factors with their full approval coming shortly.
Besides, the Australian government has signed supply agreements for the vaccine with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Novavax.
Concerns over Herd Immunity
Many Australian experts are worried about the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, worried that it may not be effective enough to attain herd immunity.
CMO Paul Kelly responds to debate over the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine saying the country is choosing a vaccine that saves lives and is accessible for the full rollout.
Meanwhile, commenting on herd immunity, some experts say that there is a way for it by using both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.