Date published: 
5 November 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

EDWINA BARTHOLOMEW:      

Australia has secured two more potential COVID vaccines, boosting the nation's chance of being immunised next year.

The agreements with Novavax and Pfizer will deliver 50 million doses, by early 2021, if they prove safe and effective.

And for more, I'm joined by Health Minister, Greg Hunt, good morning to you Minister. We now have access to four potential vaccines, why are these new doses needed and are the other vaccines looking less likely?

GREG HUNT:         

Good morning.

No, all of the four vaccines are looking very promising and positive in terms of their results.

But we are doing is making sure that we have the best protection for Australia and for Australians. We now have what are called two protein vaccines, one viral vector and one mRNA.

135 million units of vaccine are potentially available for Australia, with the most likely timing being the first quarter, probably March, for the first vaccines to roll out.

It’s all dependent on the clinical trials and the regulatory approvals.

But every day I’m becoming cautiously but progressively more hopeful about access for all Australians throughout the course of 2021 to vaccines.

EDWINA BARTHOLOMEW:

Everyone is sweating on this timeline, Minister, when do you feasibly think we could have access to a vaccine?

GREG HUNT:

So, we think the first vaccines are likely to be available in March. It’s guidance, at this stage, not a guarantee.

If they were available earlier, we’ll make them available earlier, if it takes a little bit longer that would be the case.

But, that remains the guidance and that would start, not surprisingly, with health workers and the elderly, if there are approvals within the particular vaccine categories following the tests for the elderly.

But it’s absolutely clear that we’re on a path to having vaccines for all Australians during the course of 2021.

EDWINA BARTHOLOMEW:

That is some good news this morning. Health Minister, Greg Hunt, thank you for your time.

GREG HUNT:

Thanks, Eddy.

Former ministers: