The Australian government will spend more than $1.7 billion to secure 84 million doses.
Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt, and Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, on Monday announced vaccine deals with the University of Queensland and Australian biotechnology company CSL, and also with the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. Should both vaccines pass clinical trials, Australia will spend A$1.7 billion ($1.24 billion) for a total of almost 85 million doses, Morrison said.
Australia in August said it would buy the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the deal appeared in some doubt in August after CSL said it was prioritising its own rival vaccine.
Australians would have access to 3.8 million doses of the University of Oxford vaccine in January and February, it said.
If the Oxford vaccine trials prove successful and safe, it would be made available from the beginning of next year, while a UQ vaccine would be available mid-2021.More news: Fortnite-gate: Google Will Attempt to Have Epic's Antitrust Lawsuit Dismissed
The success of either vaccine still has to be demonstrated, but trials are encouraging.
CSL CEO & Managing Director Paul Perreault said, "The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a high level of urgency to the task of developing a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and to manufacture a successful vaccine at high quality and in sufficient quantities".
Johnson & Johnson will seek 20,000 volunteers for late-stage human trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in hard-hit Latin America, one-third of the planned global total, one of its public health chiefs in the region said. The UQ and CSL candidate is scheduled to begin phase two trials in late 2020 and if all trials are successful it could be rolled out to Australians in mid-2021.
"We are enormously proud of the contributions that UQ researchers have been making in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and nowhere is this clearer than in the vaccine program", Professor Terry said.
Scott Morrison said there were "no guarantees" these vaccines would prove successful.More news: FG receives Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine
AstraZeneca has established a separate commercial arrangement with the Australian Government to supply the AZD1222 vaccine to Australia once it successfully completes clinical trials.
Each person would have a dose of one vaccine followed by a second dose of the same one within a few weeks.
If everything goes according to plan, the Oxford vaccines will be available from the beginning of 2021 while the UQ vaccines would be available from mid-2021.
"Acknowledging that CSL is the only company in Australia with manufacturing facilities capable of producing this vaccine, we thank the Australian Government for their support, ensuring Australia has access to onshore COVID-19 vaccine production and supply".More news: Tiffany Haddish Reveals She Contracted COVID-19, Interviews Dr