The event of efficient vaccines for COVID-19 in solely a 12 months is an excellent achievement, however the previous week has proven the necessity to hold the general public knowledgeable if a mass immunisation program, because of begin in a month, is to succeed.
The federal authorities has made heavy climate prior to now week of explaining its technique. Final Tuesday the Australasian Virology Society and the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology informed the Herald the federal government ought to placed on maintain the immunisation program which is because of begin within the second half of February. Each societies later withdrew their objections.
The scientific points are complicated however they come up partly from the worldwide scarcity of the three vaccines to this point permitted by credible regulators. The three producers – Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – can not produce sufficient to satisfy the calls for from wealthy international locations within the US, Asia and Europe battling 1000’s of day by day deaths, not to mention from growing international locations.
The Australian authorities has entry to 54 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or greater than sufficient to vaccinate the complete inhabitants. However up to now, it has sourced solely sufficient of the Pfizer vaccine for five million folks.
This poses a dilemma as a result of within the scientific trials final 12 months which paved the best way for his or her approval Pfizer produced higher outcomes than AstraZeneca in some respects. The complaints from immunologists on Tuesday mirrored concern that Australia was dashing out a vaccine that, whereas protected, was second finest.