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 Murdoch
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.
27:24 Audience Q&A: Whatever happened to the Russian vaccine? — Paul Young
28:15 Audience Q&A: Is climate change the main cause of the spread of diseases like this one? — David Murdoch
29:52 Audience Q&A: Long COVID in young people hasn’t yet arrived in full. Are we prepared to deal with the coming chronic disease load? — David Murdoch and Paul Young
32:15 Audience Q&A: Have you got any idea what [COVID-19 treatments] they gave to Donald Trump and whether they made him well? — Paul Young
33:30 Audience Q&A: What’s the relevance of the CSIRO in all this [COVID] research? — Paul Young
35:30 Audience Q&A: Are there any reassurances about side effects for people who get the vaccine early? — Paul Young
36:40 Audience Q&A: What commitment have Australia and New Zealand given to helping poorer countries pay for vaccines? — Paul Young and David Murdoch
37:50 Audience Q&A: The spread of viruses from animals: is it purely from consuming meat, or can it be picked up in other ways? — Paul Young
39:00 Audience Q&A: The UN report was frightening […] Is it inevitable this will be the pandemic century? — David Murdoch and Paul Young
50:00 Audience Q&A: Why aren’t we implementing an area-based “traffic light system” to stop the spread of COVID-19? — Paul Young and David Murdoch
52:30 Audience Q&A: What do we do to combat the rise of conspiracy theories and anti-vaccination information? — David Murdoch and Paul Young
Want to read more? Extra links mentioned in the event
See how the UQ vaccine and hundreds of others worldwide are tracking, with The New York Times’ Coronavirus vaccine tracker and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker
Krushil Watene’s article Caring for community to beat coronavirus echoes Indigenous ideas of a good life
Nick Wilson and Michael Baker’s article New Zealand needs a ‘traffic light’ system to stop COVID-19 creeping in at the border
C Raina MacIntyre and Daniel Salmon’s article Want to boost vaccination? Don’t punish parents, build their trust
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