Yesterday, a triumphant Scott Morrison announced that Australians could be among the first in the world to get a long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine would be free. And it would come soon.
Good news — except there were many caveats. The federal government has signed a letter of intent with AstraZeneca, the Anglo-Swedish company which is working with researchers at Oxford University to produce what is, so far, a front-runner in the international vaccine race.
But AstraZeneca immediately poured cold water on Morrison's moment. A company spokesperson said the government's deal was simply a letter of intent — the critical fine print, like costs and manufacturing capacity, is still yet to be determined. While biotechnology company CSL is expected to produce the vaccine locally under a licensing deal, this is yet to be nutted out.