Australia begins production of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, plans to manufacture 30 million doses

A Covid-19 vaccine co-developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is seen as one of the most promising of all the experimental candidates currently being tested on humans. Dubbed ‘Covishield‘, the vaccine is currently in the phase-III or the last stage of clinical trial and the results are expected to be published in December. Meanwhile, Australia has already begun local production of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, with roughly 30 million doses planned to be manufactured.

As reported by IANS, Australian biotech firm CSL has signed a deal with AstraZeneca to begin pre-emptive production of the vaccine, for release during the first half of 2021 should remaining tests prove successful. Also Read – COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 85,53,657 while death toll reaches 1,26,611

“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 news agency quoted CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer Andrew Nash as saying. Also Read – Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine found 90% effective in preventing Covid-19

While the production has started, the vaccine will not be released for use anytime soon. Australia’s government regulatory authority, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), will review the development process before approving the shots for general use.

When it’s available, a person may need a two-dose regime. This means the planned 30 million doses would be used to vaccinate 15 million people.

The production of the vaccine is being done at CSL’s bioreactor facility in the State of Victoria, the company said in a statement.