Australia drops one of their COVID vaccines after it caused false HIV positives
CANBERRA, Australia, December 16, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Australia has rejected a vaccine developed in its own laboratories after it was discovered it made some volunteers test positive for HIV.
According to Business Insider magazine, the volunteers did not really have HIV. However, Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, explained that the trial vaccine, developed by the University of Queensland, “could interfere with HIV screening,” and so it will not be used to combat the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic
At a press conference last Friday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the end to the University of Queensland vaccine project. He revealed that Australia’s Covid-19 policy had “identified” 4 vaccines that scientists thought had the potential to get to the end of Stage 3 trials. Morrison did not say what the others were, but merely said the University of Queensland vaccine candidate cannot “proceed” or remain part of the anti-Covid plan.
As a result, Australia is putting more of its resources into buying and making other vaccines.
“We’re increasing our production and purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines from 33.8 million to 53.8 million, and we’re increasing our access to the Novavax vaccine from 40 million to 51 million,” said Morrison.
The Prime Minister added that the AstraZeneca vaccine is being made in Melbourne.
“Safety and health,” he continued.
“That has always been our starting point in all of our responses when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Greg Hunt, who spoke after Morrison, intimated that Australia “has strengthened [its] position” regarding two vaccines, those produced by AstraZeneca and Novavax, while discontinuing the University of Queensland vaccine. He stated that the manufacture of the AstraZeneca vaccine “brings forward the completion” of Australia’s 2021 “vaccine rollout.”
Hunt said that the University of Queensland vaccine was “safe” and “effective”, but that its unfortunate side effect of causing “false positives” for HIV had led to the decision to stop it from going to Stage 3 trials.
“It comes from the protein that was used, and as a result of that, the scientific advice was that vaccine confidence was the principal issue here,” he stated.
Hunt said that all together 140 million units of vaccine would be available for Australia.
The population of Australia is almost 25.5 million. The median age is estimated at 37.9, and in 2019, 15.92% of the population was aged 65 and over.
According to Business Insider, Australia had recorded only 28,012 cases of COVID-19 and 908 total deaths by Friday’s press conference.
Nevertheless, the country has been in the grip of fierce state control since the pandemic began, with unprecedented powers given to police in the state of Victoria. On September 2, Victoria police arrested and handcuffed a pregnant woman in Ballarat in front of her children for allegedly organizing an anti-lockdown protest over Facebook.
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