Department of Health Secretary and former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy told reporters today that the risks of the University of Queensland’s vaccine became “a bigger problem than anyone had anticipated”.
The decision to abandon UQ’s vaccine trial was made public early this morning, after trial participants returned false positive HIV test results.
Professor Murphy said “no warnings were ignored” about the possibility of false-positives in the trial.
“The possibility of false positives was raised by the University of Queensland very early on and was seen as a very, very unlikely possibility because the fragment of the HIV virus molecule was small,” he said.
“It was unfortunately an unexpectedly high rate when the data came in.
“The risks were appropriately taken and unfortunately it just became a bigger problem than anyone had anticipated.”
Meanwhile, it’s been one of the fiercest rivalries of 2020, but Gladys Berejiklian and Annastacia Palaszczuk have just made an extraordinarily positive appearance together.
In an end-of-year National Cabinet meeting, the pair appeared to have finally put aside their differences despite trading blows throughout the pandemic.
“We would do it all again. It was all based on health advice,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Berejiklian says she worked well with Queensland in the National Cabinet.
“We will not agree on everything, it allows us to come forward with our views on how to move forward,” she said. “I am pleased now. As the PM said, the important thing is we will be open by Christmas and that is what our citizens want and expect.
“I hope this is sustained until the end of the pandemic. We do not want to go backwards.”