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Public hearing with health leaders on COVID-19 vaccines

Issue date: Wednesday, 3 February 2021

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On Friday 5 February, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport will hold a public hearing on the development, approval and distribution processes for COVID-19 vaccines. The hearing forms part of the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia.

The Committee will hear evidence from the Department of Health’s Secretary, Professor Brendan Murphy, and Deputy Secretary, Adjunct Professor John Skerritt. It will also hear from Associate Professor Christopher Blyth and Professor Allen Cheng, Co-Chairs of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

The Chair of the Committee, Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, commented that ‘the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine has brought unprecedented attention, not just to Australian processes but also to other countries’ processes, as to how new drugs and medical technologies are developed, approved and distributed.  The development of COVID-19 vaccines represents one of the great triumphs of scientific endeavour.’

Mr Zimmerman said that, ‘the success of the vaccination program in Australia is vital to the health and well-being of all Australians so this will be an important opportunity for the Committee to receive advice from Australia’s top health officials on the government’s plans and the status of vaccine assessments. 

The Committee hopes both to increase public awareness of how COVID-19 vaccines are being developed, approved and distributed, and to draw on useful lessons learned for the future development and approval of new drugs and medical technologies’, Mr Zimmerman said.   

Further information about the Committee’s inquiry including the full terms of reference are available at the Committee’s website. To listen to the audio live streaming click here.

Public Hearing Program - Friday 5 February

Time Witnesses
12.30pm - 2.00pm Prof. Brendan Murphy and Adj Prof. Skerritt, Department of Health
2.00pm - 3.30pm Ass Prof. Blythe and Prof. Allen Cheng,Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation

Media inquiries
Hugo Robinson – Trent Zimmerman’s office – 0405 014 849

For background information
Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4145

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