Why the COVID vaccine release date may be pushed back by WEEKS
Bungled paperwork could be the reason why the first rollout of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in Australia could be pushed back.
The Morrison government has had a delay in receiving crucial data, meaning the vaccine may not be available to the public by March.
A little more than 12.3 million doses of vaccines have so far been administered across 30 countries.
4.33 million doses have been given to the United States and 4.5 million in China, an analysis by Bloomberg reported.
AstraZeneca is being made in Melbourne by CSL, but will not be granted provisional registration by the Therapeutic Goods Administration until next month, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
“The TGA is expecting further data from AstraZeneca in regard to their COVID-19 vaccine in late January 2021,” an administration spokeswoman said.
“Australia is on track to have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provisionally registered by the end of January 2021, subject to regulatory requirements being met.”
Paperwork has created many obstacles for the government and it is estimated the vaccine will not begin rolling out until it is approved by the government.
However officials say medical experts have their “finger on the pulse” of coronavirus vaccine development.
The federal government has supply contracts with three vaccine developers and the Therapeutic Goods Administration is also working on approvals.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said contracts were in place to deliver the first vaccine doses in the first quarter of 2021.
However he said it is up to companies for when they will make it fully available to the public.
Australia has agreements with Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Novavax.
Professor Kelly says health authorities are working closely with the companies to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective.
“We have the finger on the pulse ... we know what is happening in the regulatory space, but just as important what is happening in terms of the implementation of vaccination strategies in like-minded countries such as the UK, the US and Europe,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“The approvals will happen when we have all the information we need ... and that will be fast-tracked as much as possible but no shortcuts will be made.”
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