Top Doctor: Australia Is Not Looking To Rush Its Vaccine Rollout

CREDIT: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

AUSTRALIA is not looking to rush its vaccine rollout with one top doctor suggesting that published papers of evidence only just “scrape the surface of what we want to know” and more testing needs to be done.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday, January 5, said “Australia is not in an emergency situation like the United Kingdom. So we don’t have to cut corners. We don’t have to take unnecessary risks.”

This stance was reiterated by Dr Allen Cheng, Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer and Chair of the Advisory Committee for Vaccine.

Dr Cheng said: “It’s obvious that vaccines need to be effective, safe and made to a high quality. Most vaccines are given to millions of people who are otherwise well to prevent disease – this is very different to treatments that are given to people who are unwell.”

The phase three studies, which generally included about 20,000 to 25,000 people, were sufficient enough to exclude the moderately uncommon side effects, but not the serious and rare ones, which include those occurring in less than one in 10,000 people, Dr Cheng said.

“If you see a single case of a serious side effect, it can be hard to work out if it is chance or something to worry about,” he wrote on Twitter.

“An example are the cases of transverse myelitis (spinal cord inflammation) that were reported in the AstraZeneca trial.”

“For COVID vaccines, we have published papers that report that the vaccines appear to be effective and generally safe. Many people think that published papers are the gold standard in evidence, but they just scrape the surface of what we want to know,” he continued.

“Ultimately, the question is whether the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the known risks and the uncertainties.

“Countries, where there are hundreds or thousands of deaths each day, are clearly willing to tolerate some uncertainty to prevent this, and this is appropriate.

“But we’re in a different position in Australia – even with the current situation in NSW and VIC, we can afford to wait for the TGA to do its job and make sure we’re getting a safe, effective and quality vaccine,” he concluded.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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