AstraZeneca vaccine cleared for use in Australia.

Just a day after Health Minister Greg Hunt announced “the eagle has landed” and the Pfizer vaccine had been delivered to Australia, he today confirmed the AstraZeneca vaccine was “cleared for liftoff.

He said the Therapeutic Goods Administration ticked off the vaccine and approved it for use for those aged 18 and above. Like the Pfizer, it will require two doses between four and 12 weeks apart.

 “Provisional approval of this vaccine is valid for two years and means it can now be legally supplied in Australia,” the TGA said in a statement.  

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“The approval is subject to certain strict conditions, such as the requirement for AstraZeneca to continue providing information to the TGA on longer term efficacy and safety from ongoing clinical trials and post-market assessment. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has been shown to prevent COVID-19 however it is not yet known whether it prevents transmission or asymptomatic disease.”

The peak body said there were “no safety concerns” for the vaccine to be given to over 65s, after reports some countries like Germany would not be rolling the vaccine out to that age group.

Unlike Pfizer, AstraZeneca does not need to be kept at as low temperatures, but the Prime Minister said it would still be an “enormous exercise to rollout”.

“It will be provided free to Australians and it means that Australia now has two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available,” he said.

Just over 1 million doses will be shipped from Belgium to Australia, with 50 million more to be manufactured at a domestic plant in Melbourne.

Having a domestic supply chain prevents Australia being “held hostage” to the international market, the Government has said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the vaccine rollout was an “enormous exercise”. 

Further Perth news on SoPerth.com.au.