Position paper

The COVID-19 vaccines being made available in Australia have passed stringent tests for safety and efficacy. All have been shown to protect against severe disease. The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences welcomes the roll-out of the vaccination program in Australia.

We have all seen the impact of COVID-19. Now we have the tools to help save lives and reduce the societal and economic impacts of the pandemic. The vaccines being offered in Australia will provide an essential level of protection for our population when used in combination with public health measures, such as high levels of testing and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine as needed, physical distancing, hand hygiene, the judicious use of face masks, and effective controls at international borders.

The public can be confident about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines because, despite the urgency for approval, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has remained committed to a full and robust review process. This ensures that approved vaccines have met strict safety and efficacy criteria. Australia also has the benefit of information from other countries where the roll-out was a more immediate imperative due to uncontrolled transmission and high rates of morbidity and mortality.

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