Aussie health workers given COVID-19 vaccine
Three hundred health care workers have already received a tuberculosis vaccine to protect them against COVID-19 in a trial being run by The Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
The mass vaccination campaign was announced only a week ago and already hundreds of staff have received what is hoped will be protection against the virus.
Sarah and Lachlan Murdoch have donated $700 000 to the trial which is designed to test whether the tuberculosis vaccine can boosts humans' 'frontline' immunity and protect healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 from developing severe symptoms.
The Royal Children's Hospital Foundation has also provided a $400 000 grant towards the research.
Previous studies have found the vaccine reduces the viral load and reduces symptoms when people are infected with respiratory viruses similar to COVID-19.
Four thousand health care workers will take part in the trial with half being given the vaccine and the rest receiving a dummy vaccine to test whether the vaccine works.
There is as yet no vaccine for COVID-19 and it could be 18 months before the many vaccines in development around the world complete clinical trials.
They will have to be found to be effective, cause few side effects and then be produced on mass to vaccinate populations around the world.
The beauty of the Murdoch trial is it is repurposing an existing vaccine that has already been tested as safe for use against another disease.
Originally published as Aussie health workers given COVID-19 vaccine