History repeating: How similar is our COVID response to the Spanish flu?
Technological advancements in vaccine production have placed the human race in a better position to combat a global pandemic, one century on from the Spanish flu.
Deborah Knight spoke to Honorary Associate Peter Hobbins at the University Of Sydney History Department about how vaccines improved disease response.
“In some ways, vaccines are a victim of their own success,” said Dr Hobbins.
“We don’t appreciate just how many lives they saved … because people aren’t suffering from the massive number of infectious diseases we saw in the past.”
Dr Hobbins said while many have been quick to say the coronavirus vaccine was rushed, a vaccine against the Spanish flu was turned around in a matter of months.
“There was a desperate community desire for it and a quarter of the New South Wales population agreed to be vaccinated even though they didn’t have any proof it worked.
“It slowed down the rollout today but that’s because we’ve had a century of very careful therapeutic regulation.
“We’re in a much stronger position today because of all those safeguards.”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview