Australia on Monday announced that it had struck supply and production agreements with pharmaceutical companies worth 1.7 billion Australian dollars (USD 1.2 billion) over two potential COVID-19 vaccines.
Under the agreement, Britain's University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Australia's University of Queensland working with CSL will provide more than 84.8 million vaccine doses for Australia's population of 26 million people, almost entirely manufactured in the Australian city of Melbourne, a government statement said.
Australians would have access to 3.8 million doses of the University of Oxford vaccine in January and February, it said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said both vaccines would need to be proven safe and effective and meet all necessary regulatory requirements before being made available to the public. Any vaccine would be free to all Australians.