Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )
On Monday, Australia approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use
On Monday, Australia approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for use. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said that the country's medical regulator was among the first globally to finish the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
He added that it has been a year since the first local case was detected in the country.
The country is expected to begin vaccinations using Pfizer shot in late February. It is expected to begin with 80,000 doses per week, as stated by country's Health Minister Greg Hunt. The country's medical regulator added how AstraZeneca's production issues imply that the country would be required to distribute a locally manufactured jab earlier than anticipated.
Earlier, Pfizer told Australian government that it expected continuous supply but would provide global production guidance "in mid-February for March and beyond on a weekly basis".
AstraZeneca officials on Friday told the European Union that it would cut deliveries of its vaccines by 60 per cent in the first quarter due issues in production.
AstraZeneca had told Australia that the company has "had a significant supply shock and so that means we won't have as much of that AstraZeneca international in March as they had previously promised"
The domestic supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to begin in March, which is earlier than planned. It will provide a million doses every week.
Also read: Doctors in Britain want review of Pfizer shots' timetable
"The decision to pay a premium for an onshore, secure, sovereign vaccine manufacturing capacity via CSL, that puts Australia in a vastly more secure position than almost any other country in the world," Hunt added.
Australia intends to use 4 million vaccine doses by April.
For now, Pfizer has provisionally approved the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for citizens aged 16 and above.