South Australian Authorities Close Mandate Loophole for Vaccine Trial Participants

By Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
Daniel Y. Teng
December 9, 2021 Updated: December 13, 2021

South Australian (SA) authorities will remove vaccine mandate exemptions for individuals participating in vaccine trials from Dec. 8.

The new direction from SA Police will override an existing direction from early November that allowed those “taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial” to be exempt from taking an approved vaccine because it could “impact the validity” of the trial.

The new direction reads, “Taking part in a COVID-19 vaccination trial is no longer a valid reason to be exempt from having a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine in the above-mentioned directions.”

“Other existing requirements remain.”

Currently SA has mandates for those working in the education, disability services, aged care, transport, and health sectors.

The direction will impact those waiting to trial the experimental COVAX-19, being developed by Vaxine, whose laboratories are based at Flinders University in Adelaide.

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, who has been administered COVAX-19 and is the primary driver behind its development, was hoping to get his drug approved by the TGA in Australia.

Frank Pangallo, a member of the SA Legislative Council, took part in a COVAX-19 trial last year before going on to have his first AstraZeneca shot, according to the ABC.

Pangallo said he had no adverse effects after getting both COVAX-19 and AstraZeneca.

A GoFundMe campaign online has raised over $770,000, part of which will go towards funding the drug’s $300,000 application process through the TGA.

Petrovsky must also contend with being barred from his own university because he does not fulfil the state’s vaccine mandate—which requires only TGA-approved vaccines been administered.

Meanwhile, SA is on track to hit the 90 percent vaccination rate for the state, which will prompt the government to begin easing more restrictions.

The state opened its domestic borders last month on Nov. 23 to fully vaccinated travellers for the first time in over 150 days.

Around 43,000 people had applied to enter SA, with travellers now required to use EntryCheck SA, a new online border entry system, to file an application.

Travellers also need to download the HealthCheck SA app to keep abreast of testing and quarantine requirements.