Early results promising, but timetables unclear
Dr Khorshid said the early results of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial are promising, but it is unclear how soon the vaccine will be available, and whether it will be suitable for all people.
Pfizer announced a 90 per cent effectiveness rate in its Phase 3 trials of its mRNA-based vaccine this week, leading to hopes that a vaccine may be available globally next year.
Dr Khorshid said the news highlighted the unprecedented levels of cooperation around the world to defeat the virus, but he sounded a note of caution.
“There’s never been a vaccine like that licensed in Australia for use. We also need to know how long the vaccine works for, and does it work in all people,” Dr Khorshid told Nine News.
Winning public confidence will be key to the successful rollout of any COVID-19 vaccine, he said, and GPs must be involved in the planning process for vaccine distribution.
“While it will have been extensively trialled and approved, it still will not have the long track record that most vaccines have, so it must be delivered in a medically supervised environment,” Dr Khorshid said.
“General practices should be the primary vehicle for delivering any new vaccine, particularly as it is likely to involve a two-dose regimen and use multi-dose vials – something that requires more skill and training than is available at the shopping centre pharmacy.”
You can read the AMA Statement on Vaccination for COVID-19 here.