Australia’s Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, has just given an update on efforts by Australian scientists to create a vaccine.

The country was the first outside of China to be able to replicate the virus, Andrews says.

“We are now working as hard and fast as we can to develop a vaccine that’s currently undergoing testing at our specialised laboratories in Victoria.”

She said they’ll fast track it as much as possible, but they need to make sure the vaccine is “fit for purpose”.

Other nations, like the US, are also working on vaccines.

She also urges Australians to stop panic-buying items, especially toilet paper.

“You do not need to go out and buy toilet paper,” she says.

“There are adequate stocks and adequate manufacturing capacity in Australia. That is not going to be an issue.”

Andrews says there are concerns for industry, including logistics in getting (other) products in from China, and government departments were working to minimise impacts.

“Many of our food manufacturers have an inventory of four weeks plus, and have increased the level of their manufacturing over the last week in particular.”



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