New analysis of trials showing a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine could offer sustained protection against COVID-19 are encouraging, but Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC believes it’s too early to recommend this approach for Australia.
The analysis has shown a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to be 76 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness for up to 90 days, and reduced transmission by 67 percent.
The vaccine is designed to be administered in two doses, 21 days apart.
Professor Crabb said the findings, which are still under review by The Lancet, are ‘encouraging’.
“There are no cases of severe disease, no hospitalisations,” Professor Crabb told The New Daily.
“The evidence is saying that it looks OK.”
But Professor Crabb warned that a one-dose approach, which has been prompted by the burgeoning COVID emergency in the UK, may not be appropriate in Australia, where the final call on such matters rests with the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
“One shot looks effective in the UK circumstance … but it’s way too early to say it would be recommended here, let’s see the situation play out,” he said.
Professor Crabb also expressed concerns that a single dose could speed up mutations of the virus.
That’s why it’s important to vaccinate as many people globally as possible and to implement strict public health measures, like Australia has done, to get the case rate down.
“The less virus there is, the slower it is to mutate.”
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