Australian COVID-19 vaccine strategy

 

ASI Position Statement -
Current Australian COVID-19 vaccine strategy

January 27th 2021

Vaccines are a key public health measure that help limit the impact of infectious disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the rapid development of vaccines that are now being deployed around the world, including in Australia once approval is given by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The Australian Government plans to utilise a multi-pronged vaccine approach including the AstraZeneca (AZD1222) and Pfizer BioNTech (BTB162b) vaccines. Both vaccines are safe and have been demonstrated to provide protection from disease symptoms. The advent of several vaccines after little over one year from the start of the pandemic is an exceptional scientific achievement that was only possible due to concerted efforts worldwide.

The reported effectiveness of the AstraZeneca (62 - 90 %) and Pfizer BioNTech (>90 %) vaccines described the protection from mild to moderate COVID-19 disease in vaccine recipients. This range of effectiveness is well within the range observed for approved vaccines against diseases such as Influenza and Measles.

Importantly, based on the initial clinical trials, both vaccines were equally effective (100 %) at preventing severe disease and hospitalisation.

To that end, the Australian Government explained that the primary goal of their strategy is to limit the severity of disease, thereby contributing to limiting the number of people that get very sick (hospitalised) or die from COVID-19.

As such, the ASI supports the Australian Government’s current vaccine strategy. It is informed by the most current data, advice from an expert panel and will help ensure that fewer Australians are severely impacted from COVID-19.

Further Reading:

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-news-and-media
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32661-1/fulltext
https://www.science.org.au/news-and-events/news-and-media-releases/academy-statement-pandemic-vaccines-and-misinformation

For media enquiries please contact the ASI General Manager.