Australia’s medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), has announced that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in Australia and is considered safe for those over 65. This followed the World Health Organization’s recommendations on the vaccine.
The TGA recommended a 12-week gap between the first and second vaccine injections. The previously anticipated end date of October 2021 for all Australians to vaccinated may be pushed out further, due to this longer gap between the first and second shots.
The Australian government has agreed to buy 50 million doses of the vaccine from CSL Limited (formerly Commonwealth Serum Laboratories), the major Australian vaccine producer. Australia has also announced it will aim to provide COVID-19 doses for people in the Pacific and other regional countries.
CSL has already commenced production of the vaccine and aims to produce one million doses per week. The company expressed that it is confident that, once supplied with updated materials, it could adapt the vaccine to combat new strains of the virus.