Tourism

ScoMo scraps local COVID-19 vaccine hope, while US eyes emergency approval for Pfizer’s version

Queensland University’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been scrapped from Australia’s vaccine plan after returning false-positive HIV results.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement during a press conference outside Parliament House this morning.

“Our vaccine strategy and our vaccine policy had identified four vaccines that we believed, based on the scientific advice, had the potential to go through to the end of Stage 3 trials and be available here in Australia,” he said.

“At no stage, can I assure you, that we believed that all four of those vaccines would likely get through that process.”

Morrison said the decision was made yesterday by the National Security Committee of Cabinet.

“The University of Queensland vaccine will not be able to proceed based on the scientific advice, and that will no longer feature as part of Australia’s vaccine plan,” he said.

The Prime Minister told reporters the decision allowed the government to increase Australia’s access to other vaccine candidates.

“And so we are increasing our production and purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines from 33.8 million to 53.8 million, and we’re increasing our access to the Novavax vaccine from 40 million to 51 million,” he said.

“So that’s an extra 20 million doses of AstraZeneca, and an extra 11 million doses of Novavax. The AstraZeneca vaccine, of course, is manufactured here in Melbourne by CSL.”

At the same press conference, Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the decision not to proceed with the university’s candidate was mutual.

“The issue, which by mutual agreement with CSL led to the decision not to proceed to stage three trials and, therefore, not to move to a purchase, is that there was the risk of false-positive HIV results,” Hunt said.

“They are false. It comes from the protein that was used.

“The scientific advice is that the risk to vaccine confidence was the principal issue here, and we made the decision unanimously as a National Security Committee, the scientific advice was unanimous, the agreement with CSL not to proceed was mutual.”

Meanwhile, Pfizer has released a statement confirming the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had voted in favour of granting emergency use of the vaccine, taking the country one step closer to distributing the jab.

This comes not long after the UK administered the first official Pfizer COVID-19 shot to a 90-year-old woman after giving the vaccine emergency approval on 2 December.

However, Australia’s Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said last week that while the government welcomes the UK’s emergency approval of the vaccine, he does not think Aussies will see the jab until at least March 2021.


Featured image source: Facebook/Scott Morrison



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Cunard reports biggest booking day in a decade

The rumours are that many Cunard employees went home that day with a big sack with a dollar sign on it after a massive day on the job.

Share

CommentComments

News

Travel just got easier: No more pre-departure tests for New Caledonia, Tahiti, Indonesia

What would make travel really easy for us is if a nice company out there would like to send a Travel Weekly reporter on a nice trip overseas (wink, wink, nudge, nudge @anyone please).

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Dream Cruises ship resurrected for new cruise brand

Don’t just sit around dreaming of cruises, hop on this revived Dream Cruises ship for your first getaway in two years.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Collette wraps up its first travel forum in two years

The tour operator hosted top sellers, partners, key travel players and media friends (that’s us!) for poolside shenanigans in sunny Cairns.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“Travel is the great educator”: Collette CEO Dan Sullivan on why we need travel now more than ever

We spent the past few days sipping mojitos by the pool in Cairns… Oh, and attending Collette’s travel forum! Here’s proof we were listening.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“It’s our shout”: Flight Centre is giving away free holidays!

The travel giant is giving away 40 holidays to celebrate its 40th Birthday! Nobody tell them that it’s usually the other way around…

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

QT Newcastle signature restaurant and bar revealed!

It might seem like we’re calling Newcastle a ‘cutie’ but rest assured, our cutest NSW city award still goes to Griffith.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Australian Tourism Exchange 2022 concluded and next year’s location revealed!

The rumours are that next year’s event will have twice as many arancini balls and half the day will be dedicated to playing Mario Kart. Bear in mind our source for this was a 6 year old boy…

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Japan gets closer to reopening its border with experimental group tours

Don’t worry, the fact that the tours are operating is what makes them experimental. You won’t have to remember your high school science skills for a trip to Japan (at least we don’t think so).

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Do you want to explore South Australia? Complete a few training modules for your chance at a famil!

The team at South Australian Tourism Commission has your next holiday sorted with a famil offering for travel agents and product managers.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

ATEC tickled pink with Labor Party tourism funding promise

As professional journalists, we at Travel Weekly remain completely unbiased when it comes to political matters. However, we’re just going to leave this here…

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“The time is right”: industry legend, Barry Mayo, retires after 60+ years in travel

We think we speak for everyone when we say we can’t imagine an Australian travel industry without this industry stalwart!

Share

CommentComments