Australia announced that it will secure around 85 million doses of coronavirus vaccine if two trials go successful.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that two deals have been made that would allow free doses to be introduced in 2021 if they were approved for use. He said that the estimated cost may be A$1.7bn (£0.9bn; $1.24bn).
He added that authorities could start distributing doses to 25 million people from January. However, there were “no guarantees”.
“However the agreement puts Australia at the top of the queue if our medical experts give the vaccines the green light,” the prime minister said.
According to the international news agency, one vaccine is from Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, while the other is a local one from the University of Queensland and CSL.
The government said that Most of the vaccines would be made in Australia in line with previous promises.
It was agreements for 33.8 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and 51 million doses of a UQ vaccine, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
BBC reported that Early access to the Oxford vaccine – if it is found to work – could begin in January and February with 3.8 million doses secured for that period.
That vaccine is in phase three of clinical trials and 30,000 people are participating in testing.
The UQ/CSL vaccine is in phase one of clinical trials, a small group of people is taking part in testing.
The government has informed that immunization won’t be compulsory but strongly encouraged. The country is working for a 95% vaccination rate.