scoop.co.nz 18 Mar, 2021 00:45 am

The Geopolitics Of Vaccine Nationalism And R&D: Perspectives From Australia

The Geopolitics Of Vaccine Nationalism And R&D: Perspectives From Australia
“The eagle has landed”, said Australia’s federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on 15 February 2021 referring to the arrival of the first international shipment of Pfeizer’s Covid-19 vaccines in Australia. On the day which was supposed to be ...

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) based on data released on 5 March 2021, there were 79 vaccine candidates in clinical trials globally and 182 in pre-clinical development.This has raised several unanswered questions: Why is there no wider choice of jab, given the existence of promising domestic vaccine candidates in clinical trials?While Australia supports the global Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) (founded in 2017) to stop future epidemics, a long-term government-supported initiative is needed for Australia’s own medical and vaccine R&D clinical trials.Currently, the chronically under-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and several Australian universities are involved in new vaccine research projects (University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and University of New South Wales (for clinical trials research for Novavax vaccine).

The Federal Government must think hard about better strategies for furthering leading medical research (including clinical trials) without having a short-sighted focus on immediate returns to best position Australia in the geopolitical vaccine race.“The eagle has landed”, said Australia’s federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on 15 February 2021 referring to the arrival of the first international shipment of Pfeizer’s Covid-19 vaccines in Australia.

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