Australia orders 25 million doses of Oxford University coronavirus vaccine

The country’s leader promised to make doses ‘as mandatory as you can’. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Australia has ordered 25 million doses of Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine.

Prime minister Scott Morrison said he would make the vaccine “as mandatory as you can” before heading off on a tour of AstraZeneca’s lab in Sydney.

Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca is working in conjunction with Oxford University in the hope of finding a successful vaccine against Covid-19.

Mr Morrison told reporters at the facility: “Today is a day of hope and Australia needs hope, the world needs hope, when it comes to this coronavirus.

“And should we be in a position for the trials to be successful, we would hope that this would be made available early next year. If it can be done sooner than that, great.”

In another radio interview on Wednesday, Mr Morrison said he had spoken with French leader Emmanuel Macron recently about how the AstraZeneca vaccine was “one of the best prospects in the world today”.

Australian prime Minister Scott Morrison with Boris Johnson Credit: Neil Hall/PA

The British-Swedish company is the largest company listed on the London Stock Exchange by market capitalisation.

The UK has secured up to 100 million doses of the vaccine, which has reached phase three trials in Brazil and South Africa.

Preliminary results suggest it is safe and induces an immune reaction.

It is one of six different coronavirus vaccine candidates in development that the UK has access to, across four different types, representing some 340 million doses.

Priority groups such as frontline health workers, those with serious diseases, the elderly and ethnic minorities are first in line to receive a jab, should a vaccine be approved.