Vaccine ready to be sent 'within hours'


Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have confirmed they will apply for emergency use authorisation for their coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first to do so in the US or Europe as the pandemic rages around the world.

The vaccine has been developed with breathtaking speed - just 10 months after the genetic code of the novel coronavirus was first sequenced - and a completed study of trials showed it was 95 percent effective in protecting people from infection.

"Filing in the US represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said.

The vaccine has been under evaluation for weeks in the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom, the companies said.

Meanwhile, the first Australian doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford's vaccine formula could be produced in the Christmas holidays.

The Daily Telegraph reports it takes manufacturer CSL approximately 50 days to make each batch and the first batch, which began on November 9, expects to be finished on December 28.

According to the Federal Government's vaccine agreements, if proven to be safe, effective and approved for use, 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine - manufactured offshore - will be available from early 2021 while 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be delivered to Australia early next year and 30 million doses will be manufactured in monthly batches. 

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