Fears that a coronavirus vaccine will be picked up by the U.S. and Germany once developed – and Australia could miss it completely
- Gavi Vaccine Alliance was concerned that Australia might miss a COVID-19 vaccine
- US has purchased the world’s stock of antiviral Remdesivir to treat COVID-19
- Also set aside 300 million in promising experimental jab at Oxford University
- Europe also reserved 400 million doses of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca
Australia could miss a coronavirus vaccine if wealthier countries such as the United States and Germany wage a bidding war to gain access to doses first.
The US has already purchased most of the antiviral supply of Remdesivir, the world’s first recommended treatment for COVID-19, from manufacturer Gilead.
The U.S. government has also invested heavily in an experimental shot from the University of Oxford that has been proven to trigger an immune response that lasts for two months.
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Australia could miss a coronavirus vaccine because wealthier countries like the United States and Germany are fighting a bidding war to be the first to access doses. The US and Europe have already reserved the first doses of a promising vaccine for the University of Oxford (publicity photo shown)
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority gave the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca $ 1 billion ($ A1.4 billion) to provide 300 million doses of the first possible vaccine doses developed with the University of Oxford in the UK.
European has reserved a further 400 million doses through the Inclusive Vaccines Alliance formed between Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
The German government has also invested $ 300 million ($ A486 million) in the biopharmaceutical company CureVac, which is also developing a promising coronavirus vaccine.
The Gavi Vaccine Alliance, working with billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates to advance global immunization for children, warned that a bidding war could deprive Australia of access to a new COVID-19 vaccine.
“If these countries enter into agreements now, if they start bidding against each other, they will drive up the price,” the group’s CEO, Dr. Seth Berkley, told ABC 7:30.
“The vast majority of countries in the world, including rich countries, small rich countries will not be able to compete.”
The US has already purchased most of the antiviral supply of Remdesivir, the world’s first recommended treatment for COVID-19, from manufacturer Gilead
Australia’s hopes of securing vaccines this month lie with the University of Queensland, starting trials with pharmaceutical giant CSL involving 120 volunteers in Brisbane.
The Queensland government has signed a deal to secure 100 million vials of the promising vaccine following a $ 10 million pledge of research.
Clinical trials will continue until mid-next year, but if successful, the vaccine can be rolled out for emergency use among the wider population early next year.
There are 17 human trials of a possible vaccine taking place worldwide, including in the US, UK and China.
The CEO of the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, warned that “small, wealthy countries” such as Australia would not be able to compete in a bidding war with the United States if a US government-funded program first developed a vaccine