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Should the government be banking on a COVID-19 vaccine next year?

The federal budget, to be unveiled on Tuesday, works on the assumption a COVID-19 vaccine will be available next year.

Infectious disease expert Professor Peter Collignon told Deborah Knight while it’s likely a vaccine will be available from the middle to end of next year, it might not be effective enough to prevent infection.

“I think there’s some feeling around that ‘look, we’ll get a vaccine early next year and life will go back to normal’ … I think that’s unlikely.”

He says a vaccine that’s only 30-50 per cent effective, like the influenza vaccine, will decrease deaths but won’t stop the spread.

“It’s not until you get a vaccine that is 90 per cent effective, if you’ve got a respiratory virus, that you actually do get to elimination.”

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