First Australian produced COVID-19 vaccine doses released

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The first locally produced doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are now available for use in Australia after approval by the TGA of the first four batches manufactured by CSL.

AstraZeneca said more than 830,000 doses have been released. Additional batches will be approved and released for distribution on a weekly basis, it said.

The country president of AstraZeneca Australia and New Zealand Liz Chatwin said, “This is a proud moment. Being able to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine here in Australia provides local certainty of supply in our efforts against COVID-19.

“CSL has delivered the locally produced doses ahead of their original schedule to support the Government’s vaccine rollout timetable. Australians can feel confident that this vaccine, locally made by our partner, CSL, meets the high standards of efficacy, safety and quality required for use in Australia.

“The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has thoroughly reviewed all relevant data and found the vaccine to be safe and effective for use in Australia.”

Ms Chatwin continued, “This is a terrific day for all Australians, and a very proud day for all of us at AstraZeneca. There are so many people who have been working behind the scenes each and every day for many months to get us to this point. 

“AstraZeneca signed an agreement with Oxford University less than one year ago, to develop and manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine that would address the global health emergency, providing broad and equitable access at no profit during the pandemic. Witnessing the vaccine being administered to millions of people around the world within months of its creation, and now in Australia, is proof of what science can do.”

Commenting on today’s milestone, CSL's chief scientific officer Dr Andrew Nash said, “CSL is very proud to mark this milestone today – the culmination of months of work right across the company to deliver locally made COVID-19 vaccines to Australians.

“It has taken a significant collaborative effort to get to this point and I would like to acknowledge all our partners including the Australian Government, AstraZeneca and the TGA for their dedication and rigour to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the nation.”

Dr Nash added, “Today’s milestone is the culmination of a whole of company effort - acknowledging that CSL is the only company in Australia with manufacturing facilities capable of producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, we have worked hard to find a way to reconfigure our operations without compromising the production of our core products – influenza vaccines and plasma and recombinant protein therapies. It’s a proud moment for all of us.”