Tag Archives: pfizer

Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler criticized Australia’s launch of a COVID-19 vaccine, saying more options should have been secured | Instant News

Federal Labor said Australians should be offered a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the end of the year to protect the health of the population.

The federal government predicts Australians over 18 will receive their first dose by the end of October, but plans have gone haywire after a change in medical advice for AstraZeneca’s jab, the main vaccine for launch.

State medical expert on Thursday recommends the Pfizer vaccine be used as the injection of choice for adults under 50 years of age, after European Medical authorities warned of a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare blood clotting disorder.

Given Australia’s heavy reliance on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, the government is working hard to secure millions of additional Pfizer doses from abroad to ensure the entire population can be vaccinated safely.

Labor has long argued that Australia needed deals with more pharmaceutical companies and Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler said last week’s events had shown why.

“Some experts in Australia are saying that the best practice is to have more than four deals, five, six deals, the UK has seven deals, to ensure redundancy in our system, to make sure there are reserves when something like AstraZeneca’s advice comes up,” said Mr Butler.

“The UK, for example, is also dealing with the fact that they are not going to give AstraZeneca to young people, but they have been able to replace the Moderna vaccine, a highly effective advanced MRNA vaccine, and will soon replace the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as well.”

Mr Butler said it is very important people get vaccinated as soon as possible, to protect against possible variants of the virus.

“Around the world, countries are preparing a possible booster shot to deal with this variant later this year,” he said.

“Moderna has sent a booster shot for trials in the US. As I said, the British government is preparing a booster shot by the end of this year. It is not only about the strength of our economic recovery, it is also about the health of our population.”

‘That must be the goal.’

Trade Minister Dan Tehan emphasized that the government will do its best so that all Australians get vaccinated by the end of this year.

“It’s clearly the goal, that’s the goal as we said, to try and get all Australians on a dose by the end of the year. But we have to remember that we are facing a pandemic, things can change,” he told Sky News.

Mr Tehan said he would travel to Europe this weekend to engage in “vaccine diplomacy”, after problems with the supply of vaccines from Europe delayed the initial rollout in Australia.

“I would like to speak with the EU as well as ministerial partners in France, Germany and Brussels, and I will also meet with the Director General of the World Trade Organization to talk about what we can do to ensure the supply of vaccines, not only for Australia but globally. , “he said.

“I will also speak with (WTO Director General Okonjo-Iweala) about the vaccines and export restrictions that have been imposed; he is outspoken against the export restrictions.”


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Can Australia produce a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine like Pfizer? | Instant News

Vaccine experts say Australia has the potential to make mRNA vaccines like Pfizer in the country – but it will take time and investment to increase domestic manufacturing capabilities.

This follows health authorities recommending that the Pfizer vaccine should be given to Australians who are under 50 years of age concerns about rare blood clots potentially associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Archa Fox, an mRNA researcher at the University of Western Australia, says nothing is stopping us from creating a Pfizer vaccine here.

“This is what we have been saying for almost a year. We can make it happen. We just need investment,” he said.

“It’s actually not that complicated to do from a scientific point of view.

“Technology, equipment – it’s there, we can buy it, we just need, basically, a will.”

RMIT University professor of immunology, Magdalena Plebanski, agrees.

“Scientifically, we are mature and ready to face such challenges as a country,” he said.

Dr Fox said it was frustrating to learn that the Pfizer vaccine was not more strongly supported by the federal government last year, but acknowledged it would be difficult for experts to weigh its options.

“It’s all very well and good to say with hindsight that we should have invested in this early on,” he said.

“Because at the start of the pandemic, and in the middle of last year, so many vaccines were developed that it was difficult to know which would be the right one.”

So why isn’t an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer made in Australia?

And why did Australia choose to manufacture AstraZeneca?

This is what we know so far.

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Play Video.  Duration: 3 minutes 13 seconds

The AstraZeneca vaccine presents minimal risk for a very large payoff.

Pfizer vs AstraZeneca

Both the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 work in the same basic way.

They train the immune system to recognize the protein spikes in SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

But they do it using a different technology.

AstraZeneca uses harmless chimpanzee adenovirus to deliver DNA into our cells.

Pfizer, on the other hand, uses messenger RNA (mRNA) encased in a lipid layer, which, to date, has not been approved for use in human vaccines.

MRNA – the active ingredient – is very fragile, therefore it is necessary to maintain mRNA between -60C and -90C.

Professor Plebanski said that because only a few companies in the world produced this particular lipid, it caused a shortage of supply.

“Even Pfizer itself has acknowledged that some components are quite limited,” he said.

Professor Plebanski compared making a vaccine to assembling a Lego structure, where one of the main blocks is hard to find.

Dr Fox agreed, explaining that the single-use plastic bags that were put into the reactor vessel during vaccine production were not widely available.

Supply issues with critical components of the Pfizer vaccine are one reason Australia can’t start making these injections tomorrow.

So if Australia is going to start producing its own mRNA vaccine, Dr Fox said Australia has to make its components too, eliminating the supply problem.

Why Australia made AstraZeneca

This basically boils down to already having manufacturing capabilities.

To make the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufacturers must grow large numbers of mammalian cells, infect them with adenoviruses, screen for adenoviruses, then dilute, test and bottle them.

“There are facilities in Australia [with] experience developing safe viral vector-based vaccines, “said Professor Plebanski.

Thus, the decision to support The AstraZeneca vaccine was created by the federal government in December 2020.

Professor Plebanski said at the moment, Australia doesn’t have the manufacturing capabilities to make mRNA vaccines at the scale we need – but we can do it with considerable investment.

Apart from these logistical issues, AstraZeneca as a company does not subcontract in the same way Pfizer does.

“AstraZeneca is very pleased to outsource supply,” said Professor Plebanski.

However, Pfizer prefers to retain its rights to vaccines and also produce them.

The Pfizer dosage purchased by the Australian government will be manufactured in the United States, Belgium and Germany.

And Pfizer will begin closing its Australian manufacturing facilities next year.

But Pfizer isn’t the only COVID-19 mRNA vaccine on the market – Moderna, launched in the US, uses similar technology – meaning there are other possible avenues for obtaining a local license.

‘Potential’ for the future

Dr Fox said although an Australian-made mRNA vaccine is not on the cards for the first generation COVID-19 vaccine, it may be in the future.

“I don’t think it’s too late. I don’t think this technology will go away. It will last,” he said.

Another benefit of manufacturing mRNA vaccines is that it is easier to “adapt” the vaccine to target new and emerging variants, Dr. Fox.

“It’s potentially much easier to change the order of the variants,” he said.


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COVID-19: Australia purchased 20 million Pfizer vaccines after it stopped relying on AstraZeneca | Instant News

Australia said on Friday that it had finalized a deal to buy an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer vaccine as it quickly turned away from previous plans to rely primarily on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the deal just hours after saying Australia would stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 50.

He said the deal meant Australia would get a total of 40 million doses of Pfizer vaccine by the end of the year, enough to inject 20 million people in a country of 26 million.

The Australian pivot comes after the European Medicines Agency said this week it had found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, although regulators in the UK and EU emphasized that the benefits of receiving the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people.

Following the European agency’s declaration, Australia’s drug regulator held a series of urgent meetings on Thursday and recommended the Pfizer vaccine to be the vaccine of choice for people under 50.

Morrison said there was no ban on the AstraZeneca vaccine and the risk of side effects was very small. He said the changes were made out of a lot of caution.

The shaft represents a significant change in Australia’s overall approach and is likely to postpone plans to have everyone inoculated by October.

A key part of Australia’s strategy is the ability to manufacture its own vaccine at home and not rely on shipping from abroad. It has planned to produce around 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, enough for 25 million people. Australia has no plans to make other vaccines at home.

Even before the change, the government faced criticism for its launch program that lagged behind most other developed economies. So far, Australia has provided more than 1 million doses of the vaccine.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the launch was a disaster and Australians needed certainty about when they would be vaccinated.

“This government has failed. This government can’t run a choko vine on the back fence, “Albanese told reporters, referring to the plant that produces pear-shaped fruit and grows easily in the Australian climate.

Health Secretary Greg Hunt said there would be some adjustments but that everyone would stay safe and be vaccinated.

Australia has successfully eradicated the spread of the virus in the community, enabling life to continue as it was before the pandemic.

AstraZeneca noted Australia’s decision to limit vaccine use was based on the absence of community transmission.

“Overall, regulatory agencies have reiterated that the vaccine offers a high level of protection against all severity of COVID-19 and that these benefits continue to far outweigh the risks,” the company said in a statement.


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Covid live update: Scott Morrison will write to the European Commission again asking for vaccine doses | Instant News

‘We’re sure we’ll get a second dose.’

Provided: Lisa Rogers

A company contracted to administer coronavirus vaccinations at a Victorian elderly care facility has apologized for not properly registering some vaccinations on the Australian Immunization Register.

Lisa Rogers is a Melbourne GP working in aged care. He said when the team came out to immunize elderly care residents, any additional dose could be given to the staff.

Dr Rogers and two colleagues took so-called “opportunistic vaccinations” and were given the Pfizer vaccine.

“We were assured that we would get a second dose when the team returned to provide a booster three weeks later for all residents,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

“So, we showed up, the three of us, and unfortunately were told that there weren’t enough vaccine bottles delivered by the government stock.”

When he tried to make other arrangements, he was told there was no record of his first vaccine.

It’s been four weeks since she got her first injection and timing is very important.

“So if you don’t get it between 21 and 42 days [period] then it might not be effective, “he said.

“They effectively questioned that I had the first dose. If there is no record of immunizations, there is no evidence. “

He believes there is a large group of doctors like him who work exclusively in the care of the elderly who may be affected.

The problem is that the details of the vaccinations are not posted on the Australian Immunization Records by Aspen Medical, which is responsible for launching them.

“We have identified that some health care professionals who are vaccinated in elderly care facilities do not record their first vaccinations accurately on the Australian Immunization Register,” he said.

The company says the manual data entry process is carried out in a “complex and challenging environment”.

“We will continue to work with our team to improve processes as we work to eliminate data input errors,” the company said.

“We would like to apologize to the health care professionals concerned for the inconvenience this has caused.”

Dr Rogers has made other arrangements and hopes he will get a second dose later this week.

Reporting by Kathy Lord


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Covid live update: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces start dates for the opening of the travel bubble | Instant News

The COVID-19 vaccine was delivered to a Townsville nursing home in a ‘mistake’ state, the Health Department said

By Hannah Kotaidis

A Townsville nursing home has been ordered to return supplies of the coronavirus vaccine after it was accidentally sent to the facility.

Residents at the Loreto Nursing Home in Pimlico were scheduled to receive their first dose of Pfizer vaccine on March 29, but on March 25 staff were told their home clinic would not continue as it could not be guaranteed that the vaccine would. arrived on time.

But the director of home nursing, Michelle Yanner, said vaccine supplies were dispatched by courier on March 29 as originally planned.

“I asked the driver to wait while I called the department,” said Ms Yanner.

“At that stage I think maybe our vaccinations will continue.”

Ms. Yanner was unable to contact the Health Department, Vaccine Operations Center, or providers by phone and the delivery driver was eventually instructed by his management to collect the vaccine and leave the facility.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health confirmed that vaccines were delivered to elderly care facilities early due to an “error” in the ordering system.

“Due to the complex cold chain logistics of these vaccines, they have been returned and vaccine deliveries will be made on the scheduled vaccine date,” he said.

Read the full story.


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