As such, some health experts expressed concerns that the AstraZeneca injection would not be effective enough to cause herd immunity in Australia, and as such should be pushed back in favour of other vaccines. One trial reported 62% efficacy, and another 90%, with a low dose for the first shot and/or longer break between doses possibly improving protection.
"Unfortunately we do not have the capacity or capability to manufacture two COVID-19 vaccines involving live viruses", she told AAP on Thursday.
Previous year leading medical journal, The Lancet, reported the efficacy for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was 62.1 percent with two standard doses of the vaccine.
Australia has 53 million doses of the Oxford jab already on order, and has agreed to buy 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Kelly said Australia would have more data by February as well as "real-world information" coming from London, which has already rolled out the vaccine.
"We need to ensure that we have the supply side right and then crucially that we have the right mechanisms of distribution to distribute safely and efficiently the vaccine", Ms McDonald said, speaking on Newstalk.
Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said on Wednesday that he was "concerned" that the debate around the efficacy of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines could erode public confidence.
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People know it's not flawless, but people don't generally judge whether they'll receive a vaccine based on its effectiveness alone.
"The answer to that is the one we can make here".
Crucially, the AstraZeneca vaccine is just one of the four the Australian government has entered into agreements to secure.
With the Pfizer vaccine, doctors have recommend a 15-minute observation period after a very small number of people had severe allergic reactions.
Professor Pollard said the fact the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be distributed at fridge temperature made it easier to transport it to remote regions in geographically large countries like Australia.
Pointing to the fact that the AstraZeneca vaccine is already being administered in Northern Ireland, Ms McDonald said: "We have suggested, for example, that although AstraZeneca, which we all know will be the game changer because it can be distributed by Global Positioning System and pharmacists, that we actually get the supplies of that vaccine into the State now, and await its clearance by the European authorities, which I hope happens".
Factoring in effectiveness, availability and distribution challenges, a strategy that uses a combination of the two vaccines for Australia is the best of both worlds.