Hackers behind European Union medicines agency attack sought to sow distrust in vaccines

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However, some Australian medical experts have suggested the AstraZeneca vaccine may not be effective enough to achieve herd immunity.

His comments came minutes after his vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed the government is considering a 24-hour vaccination programme to meet its promise to have the UK's four most vulnerable groups vaccinated by the middle of next month.

He said it was not known if any vaccine would interrupt the transmission of the virus, and that the emergence of new variants was troubling.

A promising vaccine tipped as a frontrunner to protect the world from COVID-19 in the long-term may be produced on Australian shores, as medical experts vow to use every available option to deliver safe and effective jabs.

Researchers claim the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine protected against disease in 62% of those given two full doses and in 90% of those initially given a half dose because of a manufacturing error.

Australian pharmaceutical giant CSL will reassess its ability to manufacture other coronavirus vaccines after it finishes pumping out 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca drug.

She said this has been discussed widely in European and worldwide circles, but the EMA authorisation is based on evidence around a 21 day scheduled for the Pfizer vaccine and a 28 day schedule for the Modern vaccine. The flu vaccine is far from ideal - it provides moderate protection, with effectiveness varying between different groups of people and from season to season.

Israel's Netanyahu gets second dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Standing alongside Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein pledged that by mid-March five million Israelis would be vaccinated. Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel has secured enough vaccines to inoculate the whole adult population by the end of March.

People know it's not flawless, but people don't generally judge whether they'll receive a vaccine based on its effectiveness alone.

The best vaccine is always the one you can get to the communities that need it before they urgently need it.

To date the health body has granted approval for two Covid-19 vaccines from makers Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. It's rare with the Pfizer, but it was seen in a small number of people.

Professor Pollard said the fact the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be distributed at fridge temperature made it easier to transport it to remote regions in geographically large countries like Australia.

Esterman added that the actual effectiveness of the AstraZeneca was not yet known and that it might have much higher efficacy than reported in the interim results.

Nevertheless, both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are essential tools in our public health toolkit, with vital roles to play in protecting the entire Australian population. "We'd be able to use a lot of what we had already".

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