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.”