Sky News Australia – Sep 9, 2020
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has suspended its COVID-19 vaccine trial after a participant suffered an adverse reaction, casting downs on whether the vaccine would be ready by early next year.
Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell said it was “pretty optimistic” to suggest a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready by “early next year”.
“I was surprised that Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt were so definitive the other day,” he said.
Mr Clennell pointed out the statement from Astra Zeneca “doesn’t even definitively say the illness from the person in the trial was related to the trial” but said he had always thought the development of a vaccine would take 2-3 years.
“I guess I saw this coming,” he said.
He said while it was important for the Morrison government to give people hope, the public would not be overly kind if the Prime Minister “overpromises and under-delivers”.
The federal government sealed a deal to ensure priority access to an Oxford University developed trial vaccine which would be manufactured in Melbourne and distributed by AstraZeneca as part of its $1.7 billion commitment.