How do you feel about a potential COVID-19 vaccine… about to happen, or wishful thinking?
A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could be on the horizon, pharmacists have been called “essential” in rolling out a vaccine and health professionals could be first in line to receive it… but how confident are Australia’s pharmacists that such a vaccine will happen?
On Monday morning, Pfizer and Biontech announced that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate had achieved more than 90% effectiveness in preventing infection with the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile in Australia, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told 2GB’s Ben Fordham, again on Monday, that production was starting of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in Victoria.
CSL told the Federal Government last week that it would manufacture 30 million units of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia, and 51 million units of the University of Queensland vaccine.
The Minister said that while this was “incredibly positive for the future, it won’t happen overnight”.
“I think it’s very important to be clear about that,” Mr Hunt said.
“Our expectation is once clinical trials and approvals and manufacturing are done, the first vaccines are likely to be available in about March.”
When Mr Fordham pointed out that “we don’t yet know whether these vaccines are going to work,” Mr Hunt said that, “the full extent – the ability to fully prevent transmission – those are elements that are being determined”.
“But the balance of probability is increasingly on the side of having a vaccine that will work, and then the question will be just how effective is that vaccine,” the Minister said.
Academics recently pointed out how important the pharmacy channel would be in rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine, and the Minister has also said that health workers would get first priority to receive it.
We’d like to know what you think. Are you confident that an effective vaccine will be available by March to mid-next year? And would you be happy to administer or receive it? Tell us what you think in our polls below.