The man who leads CSIRO’s efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine says it is realistic – but not certain – that an approved product would be available by 2021.
This is one of the projections the federal government relied on in its 2020-21 budget presented on Tuesday.
Dr. Rob Grenfell, CSIRO’s Health Director Health & Biosecurity, said significant progress is being made.
“Optimistically, we may have results from phase three clinical trials late this year or early 2021 that will show whether some of the leading vaccine candidates have been shown to be safe and effective in humans,” he said.
“However, there are still a few hurdles to overcome, including regulatory approval, vaccine manufacturing, and the logistics of mass immunization.
“While we may have a vaccine by next year, it may be months before it is readily available to all Australians.”
Dr. Grenfell, of Natimuk, west of Victoria, welcomed measures to combat the household virus. That includes $ 16 billion for pandemic response, $ 2.3 billion for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, $ 2.4 billion for telemedicine, and $ 3.3 billion for one national medical supply of time-sensitive and essential medical supplies.
Anne Webster, MP for Mallee, said she had confidence in the “experienced advisors and informed opinions” the government used to draw up its budget during the pandemic.
Dr. Grenfell said the CSIRO had completed tests on vaccine candidates from Oxford University and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.
Once the early data from their quality assurance study has been reviewed, the organization can move to the clinical trial phase.
In the meantime, Dr. Grenfell, the residents of Wimmera should continue to take public health measures such as: B. wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.
He said it was likely that the region would live with the virus for a few more years.
He did not specifically say whether he was okay with the Victorian government’s handling of pandemic restrictions after what has been called the “second wave” of cases.
“The nature of this virus and its behavior in populations have been shown to us in Europe,” he said.
“It is easier to impose restrictions and remove them much more strictly. Although virus rates are now very low in Victoria, we know that the virus is still floating around in many Australian states.
“This means that the risk of recurrence is real and we must remain vigilant and adhere to public health measures.”
This story COVID vaccine “realistically” available in 2021, says CSIRO Head of Health first appeared in the Wimmera Mail-Times.