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Australia to produce COVID19 vaccine on its own

The Australian government which started COVID-19 vaccine drive on February 22 plans to start the production of the vaccines on its own starting next month.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement through Facebook saying the Melbourne-based Commonwealth Serum Limited (CSL), the government owned biotechnology company, will start the production by the end of March. “We will soon be manufacturing our own doses right here in Australia, at the CSL facility in Melbourne,” he wrote on Facebook. “The CSL is on track to be producing up to 1 million doses a week by the end of March and Australia is one of only a small number of countries making their own vaccine doses.”

The Australian government started the vaccination drive with a plan to cover the entire population including the international students by the end of October. Therapeutics Goods Administration, the independent safety regulator, in Australia has given approval to two COVID19 vaccines-- Pfizer and AstraZeneca. “Australia has the best medical experts in the world and we are one of the first countries to go through full, comprehensive and rigorous processes to approve both these vaccines,” Morrison wrote on Facebook on February 16.

The Australian government’s decision to produce the vaccine on its own is targeted at covering the entire population of the country in next eight months. Only on February 22, Australia imported 166,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines to be administered to the most vulnerable groups in the first phase.

The Australian government on Sunday started its COVID19 vaccination drive with 20 people including Prime Minister Scott Morrison getting jabbed on the first day. The vaccination drive started with an administration of the first dose of vaccine to Jane Malysiak, an 84-year-old World War II survivor, according to international media reports.

As announced by the Australian government some 520,000 international student visa holders who have remained in Australia since the pandemic began would be getting the vaccinations for free and on a voluntary basis.