A few weeks back IDT Australia announced that the Australian government had approached the company to conduct a feasibility study into the possibility of producing a COVID-19 vaccine product at it’s Melbourne facility.

Though IDT is yet to publicly update the market, it appears the company has completed the study and submitted the result to the government. This comes at a time that the Australian government has been under fire for it’s over promising and underdelivering on the vaccine rollout.

Option remain open

Sourcing a local company capable of quickly scaling up to produce a vaccine is a top priority for the government in order to get the rollout back on track. Most vaccine options remain on the table with only the Johnson & Johnson candidate having been ruled out. Giant Australian biotech firm, CSL, is producing ~50M doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine so there is no need for more of this product.

Ideally, the government prefer to find a local manufacturer of a mRNA vaccine, such as those produced by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech, though it remains to be seen if any firm in Australia is capable of producing such a product in the short term.

Front runner?

Nobody really knows which type of vaccine the government will move forward with, although there has been some commentary suggesting an old-school, protein-based candidate like that being developed by Novavax may be the likely option.

One thing that appears certain though, there is a narrow field of Australian based companies with the requisite skills, experience and regulatory approvals in place, capable of attempting vaccine production. On that basis, IDT would be a front runner.


From an investor point-of-view, there is no guarantee the government will choose IDT to produce a vaccine locally, even though media reports may provide clues. 

For the time being , IDT are in a holding pattern, awaiting a decision from the government. Likewise, investors will have to wait and hope.


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