“Having looked at 200 vaccines, I probably trust our people in ACDP [Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness] to tell me what jab to take and I probably more worry about the vulnerable people in society having the jab before I did,” he said.
“Eighty per cent of vaccines fall over before they get to save lives. We’re
focused on finding the vaccines that can deliver.
I think the Australian way is just shut up and do it and, you know, you can shout about from it the rooftops once you’ve succeeded.
— Larry Marshall, CEO, CSIRO
“Because of the collaboration that happened across Australia we were able to develop one of the fastest animals trials to get the vaccines and that went into human trials in the UK and US.”
Dr Marshall said he was optimistic a vaccine would be found.
He rejected claims Australia was lagging behind in securing vaccine supplies, suggesting progress was more advanced than he could publicly say.
“I would argue that there’s two ways to deal with this. You can keep your powder dry, and get it done. And tweet about it once you’ve done it and people are getting vaccines,” he said.
“Or you can blow your trumpet now and hope you can deliver later. I think the Australian way is just shut up and do it and, you know, you can shout about from it the rooftops once you’ve succeeded.”
Dr Marshall believed technology offered a better way ultimately to manage outbreaks.
“What we need to do is use science and technology to isolate the hot spots of the virus because the virus doesn’t recognise state lines or state borders and exponentials never quite go to zero,” he said.
“So our focus should be not shutting ourselves down, as much as finding where the virus is focusing our effort to contain it in those areas, in my opinion.”