The Australian Government has joined the COVAX Facility as part of a global effort to support fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This participation and investment means that Australia is able to purchase vaccine doses as they become available from a diverse portfolio of potential COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian government has invested $123.2 billion to allow the purchase of 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Australian population. Australia has committed a further $80 million to support vaccines for 94 lower-income countries. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading (DFAT) also announced a $500 million commitment over 3-years to support COVID19 vaccination in Pacific Islander Countries (SICs) and South-east Asia via the Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative.

Background

COVAX is coordinated by Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization. It brings together governments of over 180 countries, global health organisations, private sector, scientists and manufacturers, in order to provide innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

COVAX pools funding to support research, development and manufacturing of a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. All participating countries, regardless of income levels, will have equitable access to these vaccines once they are developed.

COVAX has the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines. The initial aim is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.

The COVAX portfolio includes:

Vaccine name Vaccine platform Current stage of clinical trials
University of Oxford/AstraZeneca Viral vector Phase 3
Novavax, USA Protein (nanoparticle) Phase 3
Moderna, USA mRNA Phase 3
CureVac, Germany mRNA Phase 2B/3
Inovio, USA DNA Phase 2
Institut Pasteur/Merck/Themis, France/USA/Austria Viral vector Phase 1
Clover Biopharmaceuticals Protein Phase 1
SK bioscience, South Korea Protein (nanoparticle) Preclinical
University of Hong Kong Viral vector Preclinical

Additional agreements have been made with:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen for 500 million doses of their vaccine candidate, via a memorandum of understanding
  • Sanofi/GSK for 200 million doses of their vaccine candidate, via a statement of intent between Gavi, Sanofi and GSK

Resources

Authors: Daniela Say (MVEC Immunisation Fellow) and Nigel Crawford (Director SAEFVIC, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) 

Date: January 2021

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

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