More than 800,000 doses of the locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine can start being distributed around the country after the COVID-19 vaccine passed the final approval hurdle.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Tuesday approved the release of the first four batches of the vaccine manufactured by CSL-Seqirus in Melbourne – a total of 832,200 doses.

It comes after the CSL-manufactured vaccine was approved for use on Sunday, and follows the approval of AstraZeneca’s European-made vaccines on February 16.

“The TGA’s clearance of the vaccine for local manufacture is a major step in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the regulator said in a statement.

“We will now be able to provide secure access to large numbers of doses of a domestically-produced vaccine, with the Australian government having procured 50 million doses for delivery in the coming months.”

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