Vaccine rollout remains on track for March

Australia has ramped up coronavirus vaccine purchases after a locally made candidate was scrapped over false HIV positives.

An extra 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and a further 11 million of Novavax have been ordered to boost supplies after the University of Queensland-CSL’s effort was abandoned.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists the rollout remains on track to start in March next year despite the setback.

“The expectation there would be a 100 per cent success rate across these is naive. It’s just not true,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Morrison reassured the public any vaccine would have to be given Therapeutic Goods Administration approval.

“Without the tick there’s no jab,” he said.

The government spent $1.7 billion towards the AstraZeneca jab and University of Queensland/CSL version.

The prime minister defended the spending despite the CSL result, saying every cent on the vaccine race was worth it.

CSL has assured participants they did not contract HIV.

“There is no possibility the vaccine causes infection,” the company said in a statement.

Scott Morrison says a vaccine remains on track despite the cancellation of an Australian candidate. Credit: AAP

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