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Australia gives up COVID-19 vaccine due to false HIV positive results
Australia has halted production of a locally made Covid-19 vaccine after volunteer subjects tested false positive for HIV, meaning the drug could interfere with the diagnosis of this virus. Antibodies generated by the shocks developed by the University of Queensland (UQ) and biotech company CSL resulted in subjects testing falsely positive for the AIDS-causing virus. Further attempts were discontinued. Scientists said the results are a blow to Australian vaccine development and will likely force the country to buy more cans of imported shots. “While this is a difficult decision, the urgent need for a vaccine must be a priority for all,” said UQ Professor Paul Young. Australia has ordered a total of 140 million shots from various suppliers to vaccinate its 25 million people. This makes Australia one of the best sorted countries in the world. “We want to make sure that Australians have … full confidence, absolutely full confidence that if it gets the tick they can get the sting, and they can make that decision for themselves and their families with confidence,” said Scott Morrison . Prime Minister Prof. Sarah Palmer of the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine said: “Unfortunately, this is a setback for Covid-19 vaccine development. The generation of a false positive HIV positive is completely unexpected for this vaccine. However, this underscores the critical need to test the safety of newly developed vaccines on large numbers of volunteers. “She said the Australian government, which has been instrumental in the UQ vaccine effort, should consider funding other alternatives, including imported vaccines from companies like Pfizer and Moderna. “Australia’s strict quarantine regime has resulted in the country cleaning out previous outbreaks and the number of 28,000 infections far lower than many other developed countries. The success in containing infection has resulted in the country not making an effort to launch vaccinations like countries in Europe and Vaccinations CSL had a contract to make 51 million doses of the UQ vaccine and will instead be doing another 20 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, which is being developed with the UK’s AstraZeneca.