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Selasa, 12 Januari 2021

Chief Medical Officer rejects call to pause AstraZeneca vaccine rollout - Sydney Morning Herald

The nation’s top health officer has rejected calls to pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine and declared it to be “100 per cent” effective in preventing death from COVID-19 despite fears it would not be as good as an alternative from Pfizer.

Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the Pfizer vaccine was likely to be distributed first but stood by plans to rely on the AstraZeneca product to shield most Australians from the coronavirus.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Labor health spokesman Chris Bowen also rejected the call to pause the vaccine but criticised the government for not having more options available given the likely demand for the Pfizer vaccine, which cannot be manufactured in Australia.

“A pause only works if you’ve got something to replace it with,” Mr Bowen said.

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Professor Kelly questioned the focus on the efficacy rate based on an interim paper in The Lancet on December 8, after the Society of Immunologists said the AstraZeneca option could not be relied upon to establish herd immunity.

“In terms of preventing death, it works 100 per cent of the time. In terms of preventing severe illness, it works 100 per cent of the time,” Professor Kelly told Sky News on Wednesday morning.

“That’s exactly the same as Pfizer on that interim information.

“There was a range of studies reported on within that paper and the range of efficacy was from 62 per cent to 90 per cent.

“The full result was 70 per cent. That well exceeds what the [World Health Organisation] says is the minimum efficacy required for a vaccination.”

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reported the concerns on Wednesday given The Lancet paper showed the AstraZeneca vaccine was 62.1 per cent effective at preventing disease when given in standard doses.

The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 95 per cent effective at preventing disease in trial results released in December.

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2021-01-13 00:13:00Z
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