While the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will likely be the first to get approval in Australia, most of us will end up receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says.
During a national coronavirus update, Professor Kelly said the fact the Pfizer vaccine needed to be made overseas meant we would be getting large supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We know that the Pfizer vaccine is the one that will have the most experience around the world, [because] it was the first to get the emergency use authorisation in the US, UK and other places,” he said.
“But it is being made overseas. There is limited supply that we will be getting of the Pfizer vaccine.”
It also presents logistical challenges: The Pfizer vaccine needs to be shipped and stored at -70 degrees Celsius.
“As for the AstraZeneca vaccine, it is being made right now in Melbourne and it is well advanced, so we will be getting large supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Professor Kelly said.
“That is the one we will have available for most people during the year.”
The coronavirus vaccine rollout is now expected to begin in Australia next month, almost six weeks earlier than the Government originally expected.
Australia has secured 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 53.8 million of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The first to be rolled out will be from Pfizer, which the Government hopes to have approved by the end of this month.
Professor Kelly said the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) should have the information it needed to able to make a decision on approving the AstraZeneca vaccine in February.
Source: ABC News