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Australia to go ahead with Pfizer vaccine despite elderly deaths: vaccine adviser

(Xinhua)    10:58, January 19, 2021

CANBERRA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- A vaccine adviser to the Australian government said that the country will likely go ahead with the Pfizer vaccine despite recipients dying in Norway.

Allen Cheng, the co-chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), said that authorities were expecting approximately one out of every 100,000 Australians to have an allergic reaction to vaccines but that they would protect the most vulnerable people.

"That means we will need to prepare for that," he told Nine Entertainment newspapers on Monday.

"There will be people that do get the infection despite having the vaccination, but the idea is that it reduces the risk (of catching the coronavirus). It may not eliminate it completely, but it will reduce it."

The ATAGI has been advising Health Minister Greg Hunt on the prioritization, safety, distribution and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the beginning of Australia's vaccine program in February.

Cheng said the plan to vaccinate aged care residents with Pfizer's vaccine would likely go ahead despite 30 elderly people in Norway dying after receiving it.

In a separate interview with News Corp Australia, Cheng described the attainment of herd immunity as a "long-term goal" that could involve Australians being immunized multiple times.

"We're going for protection to start with; we want to stop people getting sick and dying," he said.

"That will mean that we will give the vaccine firstly to people who are at the highest risk of getting sick and dying."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Meng Bin, Liang Jun)

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