There’s only one ASX stock involved in the COVID vaccine rollout right now; and it’s just dispatched the first doses
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The COVID vaccine rollout will be one of the greatest logistical medical exercises in Australia’s history – but difficult to invest in.
This week the government kicked off Phase Ib in which 6 million Australians are eligible for a shot.
People eligible in this round include adults aged over 70, as well as younger adults with a specified medical condition and certain critical and high risk workers such as police, fire, emergency services, defence and emergency processing.
The ABC reports just over 329,000 doses have been made as of March 24.
But there is only one ASX stock in the trade and it is one of the bourse’s largest in CSL (ASX:CSL).
This morning it announced the release of its first Australian-made doses of the vaccine. This release was ahead of initial scheduling and consisted of 830,000 doses.
CSL says there are another 2.5 million doses in cold storage facilities undergoing the final stages of testing, approval and release and it plans to release a million doses a week on average during the campaign.
CSL’s chief scientific officer Andrew Nash said CSL was proud to mark the milestone today.
“Today’s milestone is the culmination of a whole of company effort – acknowledging that CSL is the only company in Australia with manufacturing facilities capable of producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, we have worked hard to find a way to reconfigure our operations without compromising the production of our core products – influenza vaccines and plasma and recombinant protein therapies,” Dr Nash declared.
“It’s a proud moment for all of us.”
With the size and scale of CSL and its facilities there are few other obvious candidates on the ASX to join the COVID vaccine rollout.
But last Friday small cap pharmaceutical manufacturer IDT Australia (ASX:IDT) released a three-paragraph announcement in which it announced it was undertaking a feasibility assessment to see if its manufacturing facility could help in the COVID-19 vaccine production.
Shares have more than doubled in the last week, but this is not the first time it has hinted at such a move.