In response to the global health emergency CEPI, CSL and University of Queensland have partnered to accelerate the development and manufacturing of UQ’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
This vaccine, which last week entered into Phase 1 clinical trials, is in the early stages of development. The report made by the Courier Mail and other media agencies today that an agreement has been struck to specifically secure supply for Queensland, when a vaccine is available, is incorrect.
In line with the Federal Minister for Health, Hon. Greg Hunt’s comments, negotiations between CSL and the Australian government for a formal national supply agreement are ongoing. The Australian Government provides a range of free vaccines through the National Immunisation Program, based on expert medical advice.
CSL has made a commitment that its dose allocation will be used, at a minimum, to support its long-standing public health commitment to the Australian community.
It is early days before we will know whether the UQ vaccine will be successful and clinical trials are not expected to be complete until mid to late 2021. Pricing will be a matter for discussion between CSL and the institutions and governments procuring the vaccine. Any pricing agreed will be reasonable and reflect the investment required to sustain manufacturing, supply and availability.
With respect to CEPI’s dose allocation, this will be subject to CEPI’s equitable access obligations which require that the doses will be available first to populations at risk when and where they are needed, at prices both affordable to those populations and sustainable to CSL.