Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in people aged 16 years and above.
The two doses of the vaccine will be administered at the scheduled time, Reuters reported.
The news agency quoted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as saying that the country’s medical regulator was one of the first in the world to complete a comprehensive approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Initially, priority groups will receive the vaccine, starting in late February, with plans to deliver 80,000 doses per week, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
The country also warned that AstraZeneca’s international production issues could delay the distribution of a locally manufactured shot.
Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech entered into an advance purchase agreement with COVAX to supply up to 40 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine throughout this year.
Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said: “We share the mission of COVAX and are proud to work together so that developing countries have the same access as the rest of the world, which will bring us another step closer to ending this global pandemic and proving that Science Will Win for everyone, everywhere.”
Pfizer noted that the initial doses will be supplied in the first quarter of this year at a not-for-profit price.
Earlier this month, Colombia’s National Institute of Drug and Food Surveillance (INVIMA) authorised emergency use of the vaccine.
In a separate development, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.
Separately, the Moroccan Ministry of Health authorised Chinese company Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.