Australians will get a free Covid-19 vaccine sooner or later in 2021 if preliminaries demonstrate success after the government marked a supply and production deal worth 1.7 billion Australian dollars ($1.2 billion) for a huge number of doses.

Under the arrangement, the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and the University of Queensland/CSL will give s84.8 million doses of their possible vaccines, as indicated by an Australian government proclamation today.

Up to 3.8 million doses of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will show up sooner than expected as January 2021, the announcement included.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the vaccines would be free of cost for Australian residents.

“There are no guarantees that these vaccines will prove successful, however, the agreement puts Australia at the top of the queue, if our medical experts give the vaccines the green light,” he said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said that while vaccinations helped in saving lives, a coronavirus vaccine would not be required.

“While the Government supports immunization, it is not mandatory and individuals maintain the option to choose not to vaccinate,” he said in the statement.

According to the statement, the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has entered Phase 3 preliminaries, the last phase of testing. “To date, it has generated strong immune responses, with no significant safety concerns,” the press release said.

The vaccine developed in the University of Queensland in Australia is already effective in animal models, the statement said.

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