Image from Renown's new COVID testing lab. Andy Barror/RGJ
The timing of the roll out of the COVID 19 to the Australian population has been the subject of discussions on radio and tv news, as well as by the community. Labor leader Anthony Albanese has urged the Morrison Government to reconsider the timeline and speed up the release of the COVID-19 vaccine as fresh outbreaks in NSW and Victoria prompt border closures and summer holiday chaos. But Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly insisted that safety must be paramount as officials observe the rollout in the United Kingdom and the United States and learn the lessons of any potential adverse reactions or logistic issues.
The government's stance is supported by the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology which says the federal government should immediately pause the planned rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine because it may not be effective enough to generate herd immunity.
Phase three clinical trials of the vaccine, which is the centrepiece of Australia's vaccination strategy, show it is only 62 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 when given in the recommended dose. Trials suggest vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are about 95 per cent effective. Immunology society president Professor Stephen Turner said based on current trial evidence the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be widely rolled out.
In the meantime, the Australian Medical Association has called on the government to put in place effective long-term internet advertising to counter medical misinformation shared on social media, including the COVID-19 conspiracy theories.
The Australian Filipina sought the views of a few Fil-Aussie regarding the COVID 19 vaccine.
Would you like to have the COVID 19 vaccine? If yes, would you like to be among the first to receive it or would you rather wait? If no, why?
Tess Coria Dela Cruz, Hinchinbrook
43 yrs old, Nurse (Infection Prevention Control Team Leader)
For me, it is "no" to receiving COVID vaccine. Due to so many medication allergies that I have, I would not be comfortable in having the vaccine for the chemical components may affect me.
With my condition and health issues, my defence is a thorough understanding the logic behind infection control. The best ways to avoid the disease are by hand washing and correct use of protective equipment. Also by following cough/sneeze etiquette and adhering to the NSW health directives.
Rod Dingle-Komitiyage, Blacktown
63 yrs, Language Practitionr/Real Estate Agent
Yes I would like to have the vaccine BUT only after a thorough pre-trial period!
I've been part of two trial drugs before but it took them couple of years before they reached that trial stage!
I won't be lining up just yet until the vaccine is proven effective! I survive by following protocols and keeping healthy!
Jaime Agcaoili Estrada, Hurstville
59 years old, Heart Transplant Recipient
Works at the Sydney Airport
When the vaccine arrives in Australia, I would rather prefer to wait until it has proven to be 100% effective without any side effects. Of course, as all medications have side effect, I would be cautious on how it would affect my body personally.
I also have to consult with my Heart Doctors as I had a heart transplant in January 2012 and have to ask about the pros and cons of the vaccine.
Any vaccine injected to me has to be cleared by my Specialist Doctors and my GP including the yearly flu vaccine which is different scenario from other vaccine recipients.
Anna Garcia, Sydney's Inner West
Law of Attraction Coach, Lupus survivor
With an 11 yr old daughter Allegra and lawyer husband.
Yes I would consider getting it, I’m not in an uproar about it. I think I’m, in my mind that my well being is guaranteed so I think what you tell yourself is important. But I am not going to rally for it because everyone needs to make their decision.
I am not in a rush for it because I would get it mainly to be able to travel and overseas travel will not happen for a while.
Vangie Vallejos Gregorio, Mill Park, Vic.
69 yrs, retired Primary School Teacher
3 married children, 6 grandchildren
Getting the COVID 19 vaccine can help protect us by creating an antibody from the virus in our body. Given that this is a new type of vaccine and scientists are still monitoring its safety, I have some apprehension of getting it straight away.
Having experienced being lockdown in Diamond Princess Cruise Liner and to be the first batch to be quarantined in Japan and Darwin, I will get the vaccine but will wait for a little bit to make sure the vaccine is effective and that there are no possible adverse side effects or long term risks.
Ma Miliza Samson, Campbelltown
43 yrs, Support Worker for Persons with Disabilities
Yes I would like to have the COVID 19 vaccine.
I'm a frontliner and most of the time I'm with people with disabilities and the elderly people. I want to be protected and my family kept safe too.