24 Nov 2020
As the world awaits further results about the three potential coronavirus vaccines, Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt suggested that its health care workers will start getting vaccinated in March. He stated that the news about the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccines are a “promising development” for the country.
"The advice I have is that all our contracted vaccines are on a pathway to being successful, safe, importantly, and effective,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. He described the latest developments as “very promising”, amid the ongoing pandemic. Morrison continued, “It’s my sincere hope that we’re another step closer to beating this pandemic.”
At the start of the week, phase three trial results of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine showed an average of 70% effect rate. Moreover, earlier this month, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines also proved to be effective.
"The vaccine investments we've made under the recommendations of medical experts led by Professor Brendan Murphy look like they're really paying off,” the Australian PM said.
The country is in talks to purchase all of the approved vaccines, including the University of Queensland’s vaccine.
Morrison was also supported by the Labour, opposition health spokesman Chris Bowen stated, but suggested that Australia would benefit if the authorities made more agreements.
Speaking in Melbourne, he affirmed, "World's best practice is to have five or six contracts in place with various vaccine providers; we have four, because we don't know which vaccine will come to the fore most quickly and most effectively.”
He added, "We don't yet know which vaccine will be delivered first, or with the most effectiveness but it's important that Australia has maximum access to those vaccines and whichever vaccine is most effective, and earliest."