Manufacturing of AstraZeneca Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine to start in Australia tomorrow


The tube that could change the world: First vial of COVID-19 vaccine ‘starting material’ after Australian breakthrough – with millions to be made from tomorrow

  • About 30 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will start production on Monday
  • Biotech company CSL announced manufacturing would begin in Melbourne
  • The doses pending approval are expected to be released in the first half of 2021 

Millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will start being manufactured in Australia from Monday.

Biotechnology giant CSL announced they would start producing the AstraZeneca AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine at its factory in Melbourne this week.

About 30million doses will be manufactured as part of a first-of-its-kind agreement with the Australian government, with the company hoping to release them in the first half of 2021 pending clinical trials and approval.

The jab, which was produced at the University of Oxford, is seen as the leading candidate across the globe and is in final-stage trials.

Biotechnology giant CSL announced they would start producing the AstraZeneca AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine at its facility in Melbourne this week (pictured CSL Chief Scientific Officer Andrew Nash with a vial indicating the size of the vaccine)

Biotechnology giant CSL announced they would start producing the AstraZeneca AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine at its facility in Melbourne this week (pictured CSL Chief Scientific Officer Andrew Nash with a vial indicating the size of the vaccine)

If successful, the vaccine will be rolled out in a two-dose per person system.

The vaccine will not be ready for use until it is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Andrew Nash said the vaccine was well on track to be ready for release around the middle of next year.

He showcased a vial of the ‘starting material’ for the vaccine on Sunday.

‘This is an important milestone and marks the end of many months of around-the-clock preparation by our skilled personnel globally within CSL Behring, Seqirus and research and development,’ he said on Sunday.

‘There’s still a long way to go and our first priority resolutely remains the safety and efficacy of the vaccines we produce.

Around 30million doses will be manufactured with the company hoping to release them in the first half of 2021 pending clinical trials and approval

Around 30million doses will be manufactured with the company hoping to release them in the first half of 2021 pending clinical trials and approval

Staff at CSL are seen working on the vaccine at a lab in Melbourne on Sunday in preparation for manufacturing to begin this week

Staff at CSL are seen working on the vaccine at a lab in Melbourne on Sunday in preparation for manufacturing to begin this week

CSL’S COVID-19 VACCINE

The AstraZeneca AZD1222 coronavirus vaccine will start being manufactured from Monday in CSL’s Melbourne lab.

The biotech company is hoping to produce 30million doses of the vaccine.

It is hoped they will be ready for release by mid next-year pending on approval and clinical trials.

The jab, which was produced at the University of Oxford, is seen as the leading candidate across the globe and is in final-stage trials.

If successful, the vaccine will be rolled out in a two-dose per person system.

‘We are undertaking these manufacturing activities at-risk and in parallel with the clinical trials and approvals processes in recognition of the significant urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

The Australian government has also signed deals to buy two more COVID-19 vaccines if they pass ongoing trials.

Australia will potentially buy 40million doses from American company Novavax and 10million doses of a jab jointly produced by US firms Pfizer and BioNTech.

CSL's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Nash, said the vaccine was well on track to be ready for release around the middle of next year

CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Nash, said the vaccine was well on track to be ready for release around the middle of next year

Both vaccines are undergoing large final-stage trials around the world and could be approved for use in Australia by early next year.

The deals worth $1.5billion add to agreements already signed with the University of Queensland and AstraZeneca and take the total number of potential doses secured to 134million at a cost of $3.2billion.

All the vaccines require two doses per person.

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