19 Nov 2020

Covid-19: Government reaches agreement for Janssen vaccine

From Morning Report, 7:11 am on 19 November 2020

The government has reached an in-principle agreement to purchase doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for the entire population.

If all goes to plan, the first doses - up to 2 million - would be delivered in the second half of 2021.

The government would then have the option to purchase up to 3 million additional doses, which would be delivered throughout 2022.

Developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica, the shot uses a harmless cold virus to prompt an immune response - which researchers hope will innoculate recipients against Covid-19.

That's a different strategy to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which have also announced promising results.

Megan Woods is the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has announced its Covid-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective in preventing the coronavirus, with no safety concerns.

Last week, Pfizer's preliminary data showed the vaccine offered 90 percent protection against Covid-19.

Pfizer says it will seek US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization "within days".