Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt on Friday said a potential COVID-19 vaccine, being developed by the University of Queensland, could be available for all Australians in the third quarter of 2021. He said the vaccine development was ahead of schedule and it was “doing its job”.
The vaccine was found to produce virus-neutralising antibodies and had a substantial effect on the elderly, Hunt said.
“That is particularly so in the elderly, and that is an especially important outcome, given the global vulnerability to elderly…from COVID-19,” he told a press briefing.
Biotech firm CSL has completed the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate to allow the third stage of clinical trials to begin. “That is an extraordinary development…. It means that this vaccine will potentially be available, subject to the results of those trials, for delivery to Australians early in the third quarter of 2021,” he said.
“Our national goal is to ensure that all Australians who seek to be vaccinated are vaccinated by the end of 2021,” he added. CSL Limited has signed a deal to supply the Australian government with 51 million doses of the vaccine once it’s proved to be effective.