How hopeful should Australians and New Zealanders be about COVID-19 vaccines becoming available in 2021? And what do we need to learn from 2020 and this pandemic as we speed towards the new year?
The video below features the University of Queensland’s Professor Paul Young, one of Australia’s top virologists and co-leader of the UQ vaccine project, and the University of Otago’s Professor David Murdoch, a clinical microbiologist and infectious diseases physician, who has consulted for the World Health Organization.
They’re in conversation with Liz Minchin and an audience of Conversation readers. You also get to hear from Molly Glassey, the editor of The Conversation’s yearbook, 2020: The Year That Changed Us.
Too long, can’t watch it all? Jump to these highlights
8:15 When will the UQ vaccine be ready? — Paul Young’s response
10:08 The Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has said “the expectation is that Australians who sought vaccination will be vaccinated within 2021”. Do you agree? — Paul Young
11:24 Will there be COVID-19 vaccines available for some New Zealanders in 2021? — David MurdochThe University of Queensland, Author provided
11:48 What are the lessons we need to learn from this pandemic? — Paul Young on the importance of discovery science.
16:57 David, you’ve said “COVID-19 is being referred to as a ‘once in a century event’ — but the next pandemic is likely to hit sooner than you think”. Why? — David Murdoch
18:53 A major new UN report warned up to 850,000 undiscovered viruses that could be transferred to humans are thought to exist in mammal and avian hosts. As co-director of One Health Aotearoa, can you quickly explain what a one health approach means, and why you argue Western countries like New Zealand and Australia need to adopt that approach? — David Murdoch
22:15 Paul Young on the risk of not having sovereign capacity to mass produce all types of vaccines in Australia, and how Australia and New Zealand are now talking about how to work together on producing future vaccines.
26:08 Audience Q&A: will there be different types of vaccines for different age groups? — Paul Young on how the UQ vaccine trial and others are working to include people aged 56 and over, the group most at risk of severe COVID.
Authors: Liz Minchin, Executive Editor