The first broad analysis of Australia’s pandemic preparedness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been released by the CSIRO, with a focus on the science and technology priorities for improvement.
CSIRO Futures’ Strengthening Australia’s Pandemic Preparedness: Science and technology-enabled solutions delivers 20 recommendations to the Australian Government.
It focuses on the planning and preparedness required for infectious disease outbreaks in the future, and is built on the lessons learned over the past 2.5 years.
The report focused on six areas:
- preclinical capabilities for medical countermeasures
- vaccine manufacturing
- therapeutic repurposing and novel antivirals
- point of care diagnostics for case identification
- genomic analysis of pathogens and their variants, and
- data sharing informing response strategies.
Among the recommendations put to Government are improved research into viruses likely to cause a future pandemic by engaging with global research networks, enhancements to Australia’s capability to study virus genetics, diversifying the vaccine types we can manufacture, and improving the ability to collect and share data in response to an outbreak.
The Australian Government will respond to the CSIRO report in due course.
To read the full report visit www.csiro.au/pandemic
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“This report is about learning the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and analysing how we are better placed to act faster, more decisively and in a more informed way.
“The delivery of greater vaccine manufacturing capabilities in Australia is a great step towards future preparations and driving research into other viruses means our health experts are well placed to respond quickly to an emerging threat."
Quotes attributable to Minister Husic:
“This important report from CSIRO will help prepare Australia for future pandemic threats.
“We have already started this work, backing in Moderna’s mRNA vaccine production facility in Melbourne. And we are committed to develop this capability further.
“The National Reconstruction Fund will help reinforce our medical supply chains, backed by a $1.5 billion Medical Manufacturing Fund.”