Concern over radical virus vaccine plan

 

Australian medical experts have expressed concern over some of new coronavirus vaccine trials taking place overseas.

In the US some members of Congress are calling for so-called "challenge trials" in humans, in which volunteers would be given a potential vaccine and then deliberately infected with COVID-19 to see if it works.

Professor Damian Purcell, an infectious disease expert, told Four Corners said "challenge trials" would being putting us on a "path we have never gone before" and added it was "difficult to accept ethically".

Australia's coronavirus death toll is 102 with five cases recorded in the country in the last 24 hours.

Australia has recorded a total 7241 cases of COVID-19, with 3106 in New South Wales, 1678 in Victoria, 1060 in Queensland, 440 in South Australia, 592 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.

World tipped to suffer largest downturn since 1940s

The World Bank says the world is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that has spread with astonishing speed .

It said this will result in the largest shock the global economy has witnessed in more than seven decades.

Millions of people are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty.

In an updated "Global Economic Prospects," the World Bank projected that global economic activity will shrink by 5.2 per cent this year, the deepest recession since a 13.8 per cent global contraction in 1945-46 at the end of World War II.

The 5.2 per cent downturn this year will be the fourth worst global downturn over the past 150 years.

It will be exceeded only by the Great Depression of the 1930s and the periods after World War I and World War II when many the economies of many war- torn countries were devastated and the United States and other nations demobilised after massive defence buildups.

Concern over radical virus vaccine plan

Australian medical experts have expressed concern over some of new coronavirus vaccine trials slated to take place overseas.

In the US some members of Congress are calling for so-called "challenge trials" in humans, in which volunteers would be given a potential vaccine and then deliberately infected with COVID-19 to see if it works.

Professor Damian Purcell, an infectious disease expert, told Four Corners "challenge trials" would being putting us on a "path we have never gone before" and added it was "difficult to accept ethically".

Another expert, Dr Rob Grenfell told the show he was "actually nervous" about how quickly vaccine trials were progressing.

"When Oxford University announced that they were starting their phase one trials (on humans) and we're thinking 'We've only just immunised our ferrets'," he said.

"I'm going, 'wow'. They know that both the ferrets had no adverse effects from the vaccine. So that's one step to move to humans. But I must say this is new country, a new territory."

Leading vaccine developers told the show that Australia's funding of infectious diseases research follows a 'panic and neglect' cycle that leaves the country vulnerable to pandemics.

Professor Paul Young, a team leader of the University of Queensland's COVID-19 vaccine project, which is seen as the most promising in Australia, said that basic research is "horribly underfunded".

"It's out of that basic research that we are able to develop the strategies to combat these large pandemics," he told Four Corners.

Five new cases recorded nationwide

Australia has recorded five new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

Of those, three were from NSW and two were from Victoria.

Australia has recorded a total 7241 cases of COVID-19, with 3106 in New South Wales, 1678 in Victoria, 1060 in Queensland, 440 in South Australia, 592 in Western Australia, 228 in Tasmania, 107 in the Australian Capital Territory and 30 in the Northern Territory.

Originally published as Concern over radical virus vaccine plan


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