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Australia Australian AstraZeneca manufacturer CSL still committed to make 50 million vaccine doses

06:21  09 april  2021
06:21  09 april  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

A Terrible Conundrum for the AstraZeneca Vaccine

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Australia canceled an order for 51 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by CSL Ltd. and the University of Queensland after trials ran into difficulties. Australia 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. The CSL failure shows that despite the groundbreaking progress by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. in producing an inoculation, the path to a successful vaccine remains difficult.

When millions of Australians roll up their sleeve to get a locally made vaccine , the shot itself may only take a couple of seconds, but it will have been three months in the making . That's because this room, part of CSL 's Broadmeadows plant, is where 50 million doses of the Oxford- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be grown. Earlier this week, the vaccine was approved by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator . It's currently under review at the Therapeutics Good Administration.

The Australian manufacturer of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine says it still plans to fill a federal government order of 50 million doses, despite health authorities recommending a different vaccine be preferred for those under 50 years of age.

On Thursday night, the panel of experts that advises the federal government on immunisation issues recommended that Pfizer be the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for adults under 50 due to the risk of a rare blood clotting disorder in that age group.

The panel, ATAGI, said if the risks outweighed the benefits, AstraZeneca could still be used, and that people who had received the first dose without experiencing the rare side clotting disorder could still get a second one.

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However, of these 3 million plus doses only around a third – one million doses – have been approved for use and can actually be used to vaccinate Australians . That means less than half of the vaccines produced have actually been rolled out. RELATED: Australia ’s shameful vaccine statistic. Health Department secretary Professor Brendan Murphy has hailed Australia ’s decision to locally produce the vaccine as among the “single best thing” Australia has done given the threats in Europe to block vaccine exports. CSL remains contracted to make 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

Australia received batches of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine through the United Kingdom, but the shipment was not announced to avoid controversy in Britain, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday. The European Union previously blocked an AstraZeneca shipment to Australia , citing According to the newspaper, the first 300,000 UK- made doses arrived at Sydney Airport on February 28. Another batch reportedly landed via an Emirates passenger plane in March. The Sydney Morning Herald cited an unidentified British official as saying that the shipments to Australia were not made at

"Immunisation providers should only give a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to adults under 50 years of age where benefit clearly outweighs the risk for that individual's circumstances," National Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said.

The recommendation has dashed hopes that all Australians will have had their first COVID-19 vaccine by October, as the federal government may have to try and source other vaccines to cover that age group.

Australia had ordered nearly 54 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the vast majority to be produced by biotechnology company CSL at its factory in Melbourne suburb Broadmeadows.

The remaining 3.8 million doses were to be shipped from Europe.

CSL said it remained "committed to meeting its contracted arrangements with the Australian Government and AstraZeneca for locally produced AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines".

Australia's rollout of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will NOT be paused

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"Those 3.1 million vaccines were not supplied to Australia , and that explains the difference between the numbers. "We made that very clear back in February, and we made it very clear that they were indicative figures we were working to at that time." Agriculture Minister David Littleproud went further The initial shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine were intended to boost the start of Australia 's vaccine rollout, with local drug manufacturer CSL set to produce the 50 million shots. Around 830,000 local doses were delivered in the first week of the program, but it is not clear how many have

* Australian immunisation providers should only give a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to adults under 50 where the benefit clearly outweighs the risk. * Australians who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse events can safely be given their * Australians who have had blood clots associated with low platelet levels after their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given a second dose . * Australia 's Department of Health further develop and refine resources for informed consent that clearly convey the AstraZeneca vaccine 's

"We will continue our focused and important efforts to manufacture this vaccine which remains critical for the protection of our most vulnerable populations," a spokesperson said in a statement.

"We are proud of our unique role in Australia as the only onshore manufacturer that can produce this vaccine and remain dedicated to our ongoing contribution towards this effort."

The first batch of 830,000 locally produced AstraZeneca vaccines was released on March 24, with a goal for CSL to ramp up to producing one million per week.

The federal government earlier this week said 1.3 million locally produced doses had been received so far, with more to come in following weeks.

"We're expecting later this week over 470,000 [doses], early next week, approximately 480,000 and then late next week or early the following week 670,000," Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

If any doses are left over from the 50 million produced in Melbourne, it is understood it will be up to CSL's clients — the federal government and AstraZeneca — to decide what to do with them.

Infectious diseases expert Allen Cheng, who co-chairs ATAGI, said the recommendation was made based on an assessment of the benefits and risks.

"If there was a lot of COVID about, then the benefit in preventing COVID would outweigh the risk for almost all adults, except for very young adults. This is pretty much the situation in the UK at the moment," he said on Twitter.

Professor Cheng also said the word "prefer" was used in the recommendation because people had a choice about the vaccines and treatments they get.

"If a younger person said that they were happy to take a 1 in 200,000 risk of clotting for the benefit of getting protected from COVID earlier, then as long as this was an informed decision, we should respect that choice," he said.

Workmates mourn woman, 48, who died after having AstraZeneca vaccine .
Sanitarium Health Food Company, which is based on the New South Wales Central Coast and makes Weet-Bix and other breakfast products, confirmed the woman was one of its 800 employees. 'We understand this case is under investigation by the coroner and the health department,' a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia. 'The company is saddened by the loss of a much loved employee, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and workmates.

usr: 2
This is interesting!