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Australia's medical regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, has approved the Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The Australian Government has ordered 53.8 million doses of the vaccine, most of which will be made in Melbourne.
Most Australians will get this vaccine rather than the Pfizer vaccine, which will start being used at the end of February. People will need to get two doses of the AstraZeneca 12 weeks apart.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the vaccine for everyone over 18 years old, but recommends it be given to people over 65 years old on case-by-case basis. This would take into account a person’s age, medical conditions and their environment.
Melbourne-based biotechnology company, CSL, will make 50 million doses of the vaccine. Around 1 million doses a week will be available from the end of March.
The AstraZeneca vaccine only needs to be stored at 4 degrees Celsius. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored between -60 and -90 degrees. This will make it much easier to transport and store correctly.
You can find out more about the Therapeutic Goods Administration approval on their website.
You can also find information about the Government’s announcement in an ABC News article.