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Outsourced AstraZeneca blockade not an issue for local COVID vaccine rollout

EU’s decision to block 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia not an issue for covid vaccine rollout thanks to CSL local production
The post Outsourced AstraZeneca blockade not an issue for local COVID vaccine rollout appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

CSL share price represented by hand in blue glove picks out a vial labelled 'covid-19 vaccine' from a row of vials

Countries are holding on tight to their locally produced COVID-19 vaccines. As reported by ABC News, Italy and the European Union pulled the handbrake on the 250,000 AstraZeneca Plc (LSE: AZN) doses bound for Aussie shores. Australian politicians have stated that this is not an issue for our COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

As countries globally rush to get their hands on an approved vaccine, tensions have developed. Considering it is a potential ticket to returned economic growth, some are prioritising their own jurisdictions first and foremost.

Not an issue for our vaccine rollout

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt remarked that this decision by the EU would not impact Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout:

This is one shipment from one country. This shipment was not factored into our distribution plan for the coming weeks. Domestic production starts with 1 million per week of deliveries from late March and is on track.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian commented on the news this morning, emphasising the critical nature of local production:

I think what it demonstrates is the importance of us having a local supply. In the future, there will be supply issues. You need lots of jabs to be vaccinated properly, and therefore it’s really important for us to be able to have our local supply.

The local supply these ministers refer to is coming from Australian-based CSL Ltd (ASX: CSL). Despite the emphasised importance of its operations this morning, the CSL share price is trending 2.6% lower. The biotech giant has now fallen for four consecutive sessions, erasing 8% in 4 days.

Domestic production of the AstraZeneca vaccine by CSL was expected to begin in early March. The company’s production is anticipated to yield around 1 million doses per week by the end of March.

Ironic timing as first AstraZeneca vaccine administered

The EU’s decision to block the 250,000 vaccines comes at an ironic time, as the first AstraZeneca dose was administered in Australia today.

An estimated 40 frontline staff at the Murray Bridge Hospital in South Australia will have received the vaccine by the end of the day.

The first AstraZeneca jab has been administered in Australia! This is Dr Caroline Phegan she’s one of the frontline workers at the Murray Bridge Hospital to receive the vaccine. @abcadelaide @BreakfastNews pic.twitter.com/AlvMmFTDbc

— Sarah Mullins (née Hancock) (@sarahmullins) March 4, 2021

Premier Berejiklian also mentioned that she believed media coverage should pivot to reporting on the number of vaccines administered rather than the number of new cases.

Furthermore, with the COVID vaccine rollout underway, the premier urged for the reopening of borders. Otherwise, she said, Australia could be left in the dust economically.

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Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post Outsourced AstraZeneca blockade not an issue for local COVID vaccine rollout appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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