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First doses of promising COVID-19 vaccine could be ‘administered this side of Christmas’

Article image for First doses of promising COVID-19 vaccine could be ‘administered this side of Christmas’

A COVID-19 vaccine which is currently being produced in Melbourne has proven highly effective, and the first doses could be administered before Christmas.

The vaccine developed by AstraZenica and Oxford University was found to be 70 per cent effective in clinical trials, but with an altered dosing regimen, the vaccine makers say the jab is about 90 per cent effective.

Unlike the other two promising vaccines, produced by Moderna and Pfizer, which have both been found to be at least 94 per cent effective, Australia has the technological capabilities to make the AstraZenica vaccine here.

It’s welcome news in Melbourne, where CSL is already producing doses of the vaccine.

Professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, Peter Openshaw, says there are 10 factories worldwide which are making the vaccine, or are ready to begin doing so.

“They agreed to scale up production around the world at their own risk, put their own money behind it, on the punt that it might just work, so there are already 10 plants around the world that are primed and ready to go or already making lots of vaccine,” he told Ross and Russel.

Professor Openshaw said the first people to receive the vaccine could do so within a month.

“We could be possibly seeing some vaccine doses being administered this side of Christmas, but I think we have to be realistic that it will take many months, really, to get the vaccine rolled out and the whole population vaccinated,” he said.

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