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Path to Vaccine a Long One

Dec 21, 2020

Australia has cancelled a 51 million dose order of Covid19 vaccines as the trials begin to fail.

The vaccines are being developed by CSL Ltd. and the University of Queensland after trials ran into difficulties.

The government is replacing most of the CSL doses with more purchases of various vaccines. The country has ordered an extra 20 million shots being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc, and 11 million more Novavax Inc. doses, the government said.

Despite the ground-breaking progress by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. in producing an inoculation, CSL’s failure shows that the path to a successful vaccine remains a challenge.

More than 140 million units of vaccines will be available in Australia, despite the cancellation with CSL. The country is home to about 26 million people. Health Minister Greg Hunt said, “This is one of the highest ratios of vaccine purchases and availability to population in the world,” “So we’re in a strong position.”

CSL said it would not progress to phase 2/3 clinical trials. Due to a small component of the vaccine coming from the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, and though it posed no risk of infection, some trial participants had false positive tests for HIV – all of which was anticipated and participants were aware.

Meanwhile in South Africa, government has come under fire for missing the payment deadline to secure Covid-19 vaccines on December 15.

A deposit to secure the COVAX vaccine is R327 million and will be made soon from the Solidarity Fund.

The Solidarity Fund recently told Bloomberg it is waiting on approval from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations, which is running Covax.

While the fund will pay the initial deposit, this is only 15% of the R2.2 billion that will ultimately have to be paid for the Covax vaccines.

At this point only 3% of the population will get this vaccine, mainly healthcare and other frontline workers according to City Press.

By Naadiya Adams

Source: Aljazeera.com

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