Australia’s vaccine agreements

Australia has entered into 4 separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they are proved to be safe and effective.

Australia has entered into four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they prove to be safe and effective.

The Australian Government has invested over $350 million to support vaccine research and development. The investment will contribute to the global effort to find successful vaccines and treatments to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Australian Government has invested over $4 billion in these four agreements.  This will strengthen Australia's position to have safe and effective vaccines as they become available.

Pfizer/BioNTech

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for individuals 16 years and older.

Learn about the provisional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Status

Type

Developer

Likely Doses*

Provisionally approved

 mRNA-based vaccine

Pfizer/BioNTech

2

Approval process

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the TGA for use in Australia on 25 January 2021, after a rigorous assessment and approval process. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and efficacy.

The decision is based on quality data (chemistry and manufacturing), nonclinical data (pharmacology and toxicology), and clinical data (including safety and efficacy data from large-scale clinical trials).

The approval is subject to certain strict conditions, such as the need for Pfizer to continue providing data to the TGA on longer term efficacy and safety from ongoing clinical trials and post-market assessment. 

Doses for Australia

University of Oxford/AstraZeneca

The AstraZeneca vaccine (brand name: COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca) has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in people 18 years and older. Detailed information on the decision is on the TGA website.

Status

Type

Developer

Likely Doses*

Provisional approval

Viral vector vaccine

AstraZeneca

2

  • *Based on early trial results

The first 300,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Australia on 28 February 2021. 50 million doses will be manufactured in Australia by multinational biopharmaceutical company CSL, in partnership with the developer, international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Distribution of these Australian-made CSL doses has commenced and will continue on an ongoing basis.

Approval process

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in Australia on
16 February 2021 following the TGA’s rigorous assessment and approval process. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness.

The decision is based on quality data (chemistry and manufacturing), nonclinical data (pharmacology and toxicology), and clinical data (including safety and efficacy data from large-scale clinical trials).

The approval is subject to certain strict conditions.  AstraZeneca will need to continue to provide information to the TGA on longer term efficacy and safety of the vaccine, including ongoing clinical trials and post-market assessment.

Doses for Australia

  • Australia has secured 53.8 million doses of this vaccine
  • 3.8 million doses have been contracted to be supplied from off-shore.
  • 50 million doses will be manufactured in Australia. CSL will manufacture these doses for AstraZeneca.

Novavax

Status  

Type  

Developer  

Likely Doses* 

Phase 3 clinical trials 

 Protein vaccine  

Novavax Inc.

2

Novavax is developing a vaccine for Coronavirus (COVID-19). If it is proven safe and effective and is approved for use, it will be available in Australia in the second half of 2021. It is anticipated that 51 million doses will be available, which will supply enough doses to cover Australia’s whole population. Doses for Australia may be manufactured in several locations across Europe. The Novavax vaccine is one of nine vaccines supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global partnership to accelerate vaccine development.

Testing process

All vaccines must pass different stages of research trials to prove they are safe and effective. Large-scale Phase 3 clinical trials have been conducted in the United Kingdom, and South Africa, involving more than 15,000 volunteers. There are also ongoing trials in the United States, with up to 30,000 volunteers. These trials have demonstrated that the Novavax vaccine is highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The vaccine will continue to be tested in adults 18-84 years of age in different populations, people living with HIV, and those with other chronic conditions.

Doses for Australia

Before the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous assessment and approval processes. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness. The TGA is monitoring the COVID-19 vaccine development both in Australia and around the world. If the Novavax vaccine is successful it is expected:

  • 51 million doses will be available in Australia

COVAX Facility

The Australian Government has joined the COVAX Facility as part of a global effort to support rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This enables us to buy vaccine doses for Australia as they become available.

91 upper-income countries around the world have entered into the COVAX Facility as self-financing countries. A further 92 lower-income countries are eligible for support from it. Australia’s participation means the facility can invest in a diverse portfolio of vaccines and support manufacturers.

COVAX is aiming to mobilise 2 billion doses for the world by the end of 2021, addressing the acute phase of the pandemic. It is coordinated by Gavi with help from member countries, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the World Health Organization, and UNICEF.

In its first allocation round, COVAX is distributing 336 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford and 1.2 million doses of Pfizer vaccines. They will go to 145 countries, including most of Australia’s neighbours in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Australia’s commitments to the COVAX Facility

The Government has made two financial commitments to Gavi’s COVAX Facility for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines:

  • An upfront payment of $123.2 million to allow the purchase of over 25,000,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Australian population. This is enough for 50 percent of the population to receive 2 doses.
  • A further $80 million to support vaccine access for up to 92 lower-income countries through the Facility’s Advanced Market Commitment.

Doses for Australia

Before vaccines become available, they must be approved for use in Australia. This includes the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) assessment and approval processes for safety, quality and effectiveness. The TGA is also actively monitoring COVID-19 vaccine development in Australia and around the world.

Supporting our region

Safe and effective vaccines will play a critical role in the economic recovery of our region. Supporting our regional neighbours to access vaccines will progress health results, and help open up travel for people and goods. This will help economic recovery and longer-term resilience of the Pacific and South East Asia.

On 31 October 2020, The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced a regional vaccine access initiative. It will provide a range of support, including supplying safe and effective doses, and delivering technical support.

The Government has allocated $523.2 million to this initiative. The funding will ensure that our neighbouring countries can achieve full immunisation coverage, and help meet the needs of South East Asia.

Other agreements

The Australian Government supported the University of Queensland’s research into a possible COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine has undergone phase 1 clinical trials, however will not be proceeding to phase 3.

National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline

If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, call the telephone number listed below. If you need assistance with booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, please note the call centre is unable to book appointments on your behalf.

View contact

Last updated: 
3 May 2021

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