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Australia to receive 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Novavax
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison. Source: AAP
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  • Creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are urging the Australian government against delaying the vaccine rollout in Australia
  • This comes after some Australian immunology expert mounted calls for the government to delay the AstraZeneca jab in favour of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
  • This is because data from AstraZeneca trials suggests the vaccine has an efficacy rate of around 70 per cent compared to Moderna and Pfizer's 95 per cent
  • As such, some experts are worried the AstraZeneca injection will not be able to cause herd immunity in Australia
  • Nevertheless, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group argued that because the coronavirus continues to spread, Australians need to be protected as soon as possible
  • The Federal Government said it will continue to listen to the advice of its medical advisory panel regarding the vaccine rollout

Creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are urging the Australian Government against delaying the vaccine rollout in Australia.

Calls have mounted from some Australian immunologists for the government to push for more Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in place of the AstraZeneca jab given the differences in efficacy between the products.

The calls came after data from the AstraZeneca third-phase trials suggested the vaccine had an efficacy rate of around 70 per cent — much lower than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have efficacy rates of up to 95 per cent.

As such, some health experts expressed concerns that the AstraZeneca injection would not be effective enough to cause herd immunity in Australia, and as such should be pushed back in favour of other vaccines.

Australia has already ordered 53 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Importantly, the federal government has revealed plans to inject high-priority groups with the Pfizer jab and the general public with the AstraZeneca jab.

However, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Andrew Pollard, has come forward and warned that delaying the AstraZeneca vaccine means Australia won't be able to protect people as early as possible.

"I think one can predict that there is going to be a further transmission of the virus so we need populations to be protected as soon as possible," Andrew told the ABC.

"We don't have any possibility of herd immunity without having high levels of vaccine coverage and nowhere in the world has had that happen yet."

He stressed that the true impact of vaccines is only seen once they've been administered to the public as opposed to during clinical trials.

The Australian Government says it will keep listening to its medical advisory panel regarding the best steps forward in nationwide vaccine rollout.

Today's news comes as Queensland records one new locally-transmitted COVID-19 case, while New South Wales and Victoria recorded zero.

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