The manufacturer of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has confirmed the contract in place with the federal government will be fulfilled, and that manufacturing will go on into 2022.
It came after reports that vaccine production would halt in Melbourne by the end of this year, due to the demand for Pfizer and Moderna.
However, a CSL spokesperson told Nine’s Izabella Staskowski that manufacturing would continue into next year and the full contract for 50 million doses would be met.
Any excess jabs will go to neighbouring countries, under a decision made by the Federal Government and backed by CSL.
The safe and effective vaccine received a lot of criticism despite being approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
At one stage, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young told people under 40 not to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, even though it was approved for use by ATAGI.
The vaccine is made by biotechnology company CSL. It will likely cease production once they finish the current order and the Federal Government is unlikely to extend the contract.
“Notwithstanding the perhaps disproportionate criticism that this vaccine’s reputation has experienced, we couldn’t be prouder that the AstraZeneca vaccine has given protection to many millions of Australians,” CSL’s Chairman told investors.
“Obviously we don’t want to be manufacturing something that’s not going to be utilised and we will have a number of options heading into the future,” Associate Professor Paul Griffin from the University of Queensland told 9News.
“It has received a lot of negative press and it’s a vaccine that’s proven highly effective and very safe.”
Almost 12.5m (12,431,618) doses of AstraZeneca have been given to Australians, compared to 18.6m (18,591,613) vials of Pfizer and 335,378 shots of Moderna.
In February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the locally-made vaccine would be rolled out of a Melbourne factory.
The vaccine is credited with inoculating most of the United Kingdom.