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Vaccine confusion – “both will prevent deaths”

Oliver Peterson
Article image for Vaccine confusion – “both will prevent deaths”

There are concerns Australia’s choice of coronavirus vaccine won’t be able to guarantee herd immunity.

The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology believes the AstraZeneca jab shouldn’t be relied on for controlling the virus in the country because the trail evidence shows an efficacy of around 60 per cent.

Other experts say the short term goal is providing something that can save a life, and herd immunity is a longer term goal.

The Federal Government has ordered more than 53-million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as part of the road map for protecting people from the virus. Only 10-million doses have been ordered of the Pfizer vaccine, which has a much higher efficacy of around 95 per cent.

Medical Journal Australia Editor-in-Chief Professor Nick Talley told Oliver Peterson the government has not made a mistake.

“There was always a risk some vaccines would work better than others.

“Overall the AstraZeneca vaccine will be incredibly valuable and this vaccination will be worthwhile.”

Professor Talley said the evidence shows both vaccines will prevent deaths and ICU admissions from COVID-19.

“Even if you catch the infection [after the vaccination] you will only have a very mild variant of it,” he said.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine is at least 60 per cent, it may be as high as 90 per cent. It really does prevent the serious outcomes including death.”

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Oliver Peterson