Health officials knew that the currently discarded coronavirus vaccine risks giving participants the risk of falsely testing for HIV, but did not expect it to be a problem.
The University of Queensland and the biotechnology company CSL said COVID after 168 participants returned a false-positive test for the human immunodeficiency virus due to a protein in HIV, one of the ingredients used. -19 Vaccine candidate trials have been discontinued.
They were all participants who did not receive the placebo.
Participants were told that the use of protein could produce antibodies and appear in the test.
The government has abandoned the contract to acquire 50 million doses.
Health ministry boss Brendan Murphy said authorities knew about the risk of false positives, but thought they were “very, very” unlikely to occur because of the small fragment of the HIV molecule. ..
“Unfortunately, there was an unexpectedly high false positive rate when the data came in,” Murphy said.
“Unfortunately, it became a bigger problem than everyone expected.”
Professor Murphy said the candidate still looked promising, but the risk to public confidence was too great.
“You can’t have problems with confidence,” he said.
An additional 20 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and an additional 11 million Novavax were ordered.
Scott Morrison reassured Australians that the vaccine would begin rolling out in March next year.
The government has spent $ 1.7 billion on the AstraZeneca jab and the University of Queensland / CSL version.
The Prime Minister defended the spending, saying that all the cents spent on the vaccine race were worth it, despite the results of the CSL.
“The expectation of a 100% success rate for all of these is naive. That’s not true.”
CSL guarantees that participants are not infected with HIV.
“The vaccine is unlikely to cause an infection,” the company said in a statement.
Morrison reassured the public that the vaccine would have to be given a scale of approval by the Therapeutic Goods Department.
“Without ticks, there are no jabs,” he said.
“The truth is that we are on track. The system is working properly and the Australians are protected as usual.”
Professor Murphy said deployment could be even faster as more AstraZeneca vaccines have been ordered and are already in production.
The government was informed of the outcome of the trial on Monday and the Cabinet agreed to cancel the deal on Thursday based on advice from health experts.
Labor health spokesman Chris Bowen said the government has made the right call but wants more potential vaccines on their net.
“These deals are the key to helping Australians return to normal life next year and our economy to return to normal conditions next year,” he told reporters in Sydney. Is. “
The UK launched a coronavirus vaccine program this week. Authorities have reported two reports of anaphylaxis since the deployment began, reporting possible allergic reactions.
UK drug regulators have begun to instruct people with a history of anaphylaxis to drugs and foods not to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
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