• Mon. Oct 24th, 2022

Health Minister Greg Hunt has held high-level talks with the global head of AstraZeneca with indications the vaccine could be approved by regulators as early as January.

Dec 13, 2020

Associate Professor Linda Selvey, an infectious diseases expert at Queensland University, said much more data was needed, but a vaccine could be sufficient if enough people in the population were vaccinated.
“If they kept [the highly efficacious] vaccine for people most likely to be at risk of infection such as healthcare workers, and then they gave the population the less efficacious one, that might be one strategy that might work,” she said.
History has told us [Greg Hunt] definitely doesn’t overpromise.
Professor Bruce Thompson, Swinburne University of Technology
Professor Bruce Thompson, dean of the School of Health Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology, said a successful vaccine should be able to limit either the spread or severity of the virus.
“You want the efficacy to be 100 per cent if possible, but 70 per cent could be good enough and it depends on the type of response that you get,” he said.
Greg Hunt held high-level talks with the global head of AstraZeneca on Sunday. Alex Ellinghausen
Mr Hunt’s spokesman said all available information, including safety data from emergency use authorisations in other countries, clinical trial data and the most efficacious dosing regime, was being considered by the TGA as part of its review.
“Matters of dosing and the time frame for the booster will be matters for medical advice,” he said.
The Health Minister has said previously Australia was still on track for a vaccine rollout beginning in March, with some hints from the government a rollout could even occur a few weeks earlier in February.
Professor Thompson believes a March vaccine rollout was achievable.
“History has told us he definitely doesn’t overpromise,” he said.
Britain’s medical regulator is also examining the data from Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials.
Mr Hunt’s spokesman said the Therapeutic Goods Administration was working closely and meeting regularly with international counterparts to share information and discuss vaccine regulatory issues as they arose.
Australia has now acquired 54 million doses of the Oxford University-developed AstraZeneca vaccine 3.8 million to be delivered in early 2021 and 50 million to be produced onshore by CSL.
In the wake of the CSL-UQ COVID-19 vaccine trial being abandoned last week, the government announced it would instead buy up an additional 20 million doses from AstraZeneca and 10 million doses from Novavax.
Both jabs are among the most advanced in the world in terms of clinical trials, along with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
– with Reuters