Two hotel quarantine COVID-19 cases in Queensland; Debate over AstraZeneca vaccine herd immunity effectiveness; Victoria records no new local COVID-19 cases for seventh consecutive day; Trump denounces Capitol violence as he arrives in Texas for border wall visit; Severe fire danger for several states as temperatures heat up


Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said he is “concerned” debate over the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine could undermine public trust in the country’s vaccination plan.

Mr Kelly said concerns about the ability of the drug to create herd immunity was not justified at this stage of the process, and Australians should be guided by medical research findings from the TGA.

“Once controversy is opened up and people make comments based on interim results from trial that was published a month ago … of course people will be wondering whether it’s the right decision,” he told Today.

“Long- standing advice that stood us in good stead on vaccines. They are the ones that advised us all along.”

Mr Kelly urged people not to fixate on the finding of 62 per cent effectiveness found in one of the trial groups, saying the TGA would provide more detail in the coming weeks.

Mr Kelly pointed out that some groups involved in the AstraZeneca trail recorded up to 90 per cent effectiveness.

“We’ll have much more information than a five or six page article published in the Lancet,” he said.

“Once they made that decision we’ll be guided by it. Minimum, it is an effective vaccine, it definitely exceeds the World Health Organization’s goal of over 50 per cent effectiveness.”

“I met with the coach of that advisory group yesterday. We have another that’s advising our scientific and industry technical advisory group set up by the Prime Minister late last year specifically to guide us about what vaccines we should purchase and what the goals and criteria for the program should be. AstraZeneca is important to that. That’s the one we will have.”

“We’re making it here in Australia. If it gets the tick from TGA we’re moving ahead with the vaccination.”

Mr Kelly urged people not to fixate on the finding of 62 per cent effectiveness found in one of the trail groups, saying the TGA would provide more detail in the coming weeks.

Mr Kelly pointed out that some groups involved in the AstraZeneca trail recorded up to 90 per cent effectiveness.

“We’ll have much more information than a five or six page article published in the Lancer a The TGA makes decision,” he said.

“Once they made that decision we’ll be guided by it. Minimum, it is an effective vaccine, it definitely exceeds the World Health Organization’s goal of over 50 per cent effectiveness.”


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