Australians have been reassured medical experts have their “finger on the pulse” of coronavirus vaccine development, despite no timeframe being put in place for the rollout.
The federal government has supply contracts with three vaccine developers and the Therapeutic Goods Administration is working on approvals.
More than 12.3 million doses of vaccines have so far been administered across 30 countries, including 4.33 million in the United States and 4.5 million in China, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said contracts were in place to deliver the first vaccine doses in the first quarter of 2021.
But he said ultimately it was a decision for the companies when the doses would be made available.
Australia has agreements with Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Novavax.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is being made in Melbourne by CSL.
Professor Kelly said health authorities were working closely with the companies and other nations to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective.
“We have the finger on the pulse … we know what is happening in the regulatory space, but just as important what is happening in terms of the implementation of vaccination strategies in like-minded countries such as the UK, the US and Europe,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“The approvals will happen when we have all the information we need … and that will be fast-tracked as much as possible but no shortcuts will be made.”
NSW recorded no locally acquired cases in its reporting period for Monday while Victoria had three – all linked to the Black Rock outbreak which was seeded by NSW’s northern beaches cluster.
Across the country there were 26 people in hospital but none in intensive care.
State premiers are keeping a close eye on developments in NSW and Victoria as they weigh up tougher border measures.
Sydneysiders who flout new mandatory mask rules risk a $200 fine.
“People being precautionary today and in the coming months while we’re waiting for that vaccine is the way to go,” Prof Kelly said.