Global health official warns Australia about threat of coronavirus 'vaccine nationalism'

May 18, 2020

By SBS Australia

The world will continue to suffer from coronavirus if "vaccine nationalism" occurs, the chair of a global alliance to fight epidemics has warned.

Jane Halton is worried the "we're all in it together" mentality could disappear if a vaccine for coronavirus is developed.

"If we have vaccine nationalism and one country looks after itself first, and at the expense of the rest of the world, everyone is going to continue to suffer," she told the National Press Club in Canberra on Monday.

"This is difficult."




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Ms Halton, chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, believes there's a reasonable chance a vaccine will be found for COVID-19.

She says 94 per cent of vaccine candidates fail, but there are 130 groups around the world racing to find a solution.

"So, if you want to do the numbers on this, we've got a reasonable chance of getting at least one out of it," she said.

But the former Australian Department of Health head warns the public must be prepared in case a vaccine is not developed.

"We actually need to think about how we will manage our lives in case there isn't, and certainly in the interim."

CEPI is helping with 10 potential vaccine candidates, including one based in Australia that has flagged potential human trials in July.

Ms Halton says CEPI has raised about $1.4 billion of $2 billion needed to develop a vaccine.

Mass production becomes the next issue if a vaccine is found, she added.

Ms Halton has also warned against becoming complacent on social distancing and personal hygiene.

"A lot of people go: 'It's all good now', and we've seen an absence of social distancing out in public. And I would remind people - it's not all good now."

The post about “Global health official warns Australia about threat of coronavirus 'vaccine nationalism'" appeared first on the SBS Australia website.


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