An infectious disease expert has explained how the COVID-19 will be safe despite its rollout being fast. Picture: News Corp Australia
An infectious disease expert has explained how the COVID-19 will be safe despite its rollout being fast. Picture: News Corp Australia

Health expert debunks COVID vaccine concern

An infectious diseases expert has offered an explainer to a common question surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and its safety.

University of the Sunshine Coast's Matt Mason said one of the most common questions that people hesitant to get the vaccine ask is: "how can it be safe when it was developed so quickly?".

Mr Mason said it was simple and came down to the amount of time and money that had been allocated, given the urgency towards defeating COVID-19.

He urged people to have faith in the science behind the vaccine ahead of its imminent rollout across Australia.

"What people need to remember, is that the speed of the vaccine delivery is a result of the right funding being made available," Mr Mason said.

"Normally, people working on vaccine development spend 40 per cent of time teaching, 40 per cent for research and 20 per cent engagement.

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"But I know people in the Queensland COVID-19 vaccine team who are working on it 100 per cent of the time.

"So that time frame is being compressed because the funding and time is so available. That's the difference.

"People need to have trust in the vaccination, the health system and the medical people who are delivering it."

According to the Federal Government's health department, Australia has invested more than $3.3 billion in promising vaccine candidates and currently have four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, should they prove to be safe and effective.

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The department said the government had also invested $363 million to support research and development to contribute to the global effort to find successful vaccines and treatments to stop the spread of the disease.

"Researchers and companies across the world are developing potential vaccines for COVID-19," a department release said.

"The Australian Government is tracking vaccine progress and working with developers to organise access for Australians if vaccines are successful.

"The Australian Government requires robust scientific data and analysis before supporting a vaccine candidate. This is a critical part of the scientific process.

"We continue to follow our rigorous regulatory procedures to ensure that any vaccines supplied in Australia are effective and safe for use."