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    Australian coronavirus vaccine is proving safe and effective so far – particularly for the elderly who can’t take the Pfizer jab

    • University of Queensland coronavirus vaccine trial is making positive progress 
    • The coronavirus jab appears to be safe and effective on the elderly 
    • Comes after Pfizer reported 90 per cent effectiveness rate in late-stage trials

    The University of Queensland coronavirus vaccine trial is almost ready as researchers advise the jab appears to be safe and effective on the elderly. 

    Health Minister Greg Hunt will inspect the laboratory on Friday, where he is expected to announce the promising progress of the trial, which is running ahead of schedule.

    ‘Their initial lead is that the vaccine through the phase 1 trials is proving to be safe and just as importantly it’s showing a positive response, which means it has got neutralising antibodies,’ he said, The Courier-Mail reported.

    ‘Especially in the elderly. The elderly cohort is responding well.’

    The University of Queensland coronavirus vaccine trial is making positive progress

    Health Minister Greg Hunt will inspect the laboratory on Friday, where he is expected to announce the promising signs observed in the trial - which is reportedly running ahead of schedule

    Health Minister Greg Hunt will inspect the laboratory on Friday, where he is expected to announce the promising signs observed in the trial – which is reportedly running ahead of schedule

    The effectiveness on older Australians comes after it was suggested the elderly and pregnant women would miss out on the first doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. 

    Pfizer has a 90 per cent effectiveness rate in late-stage clinical trials, with Australia signing a deal for 10 million doses.

    However, because of its method of delivery it is not considered to be safe enough for the elderly and vulnerable.

    UQ Associate Professor Paul Griffin said the early positive results are exciting. 

    ‘As for vaccines and clinical trials, the need to wait until the trial is complete and the data is analysed and published. We are not there yet,’ he said on Sunrise on Friday morning. 

    ‘This is an interim result but having said that, interim results indicate that provides protection and is safe and includes protection for the elderly and it’s really exciting.’ 

    Mr Hunt said the UQ vaccine is a ‘critical part’ of Australia’s coronavirus strategy, despite the reported success of the Pfizer jab.

    ‘It was one of the first two (vaccines) we acquired. We have 51 million units, enough for the entire Australian population with a two-shot booster,’ he said.

    Among Pfizer and UQ, Australia has also purchased access to AstraZeneca and Novavax.

    The National Cabinet will meet again on Friday, with vaccines on the agenda. 

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to outline the federal government’s vaccine policy including the requirements for states and territories to assist with distributing the drugs, if they gain approval. 

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen during a tour of the University of Queensland Vaccine Lab on October 12

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen during a tour of the University of Queensland Vaccine Lab on October 12

    Pictured: A health professional prepares a needle during a coronavirus disease vaccine development announcement, made by the University of Queensland

    Pictured: A health professional prepares a needle during a coronavirus disease vaccine development announcement, made by the University of Queensland

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