There’s fresh hope in the fight against coronavirus after an Aussie company started its first human trials of a potential vaccine.
There’s fresh hope in the fight against coronavirus after an Aussie company started its first human trials of a potential vaccine.

Australian-first coronavirus vaccine trials begin

A potential coronavirus vaccine is being trialled on 40 people in Adelaide on Friday.

In an Australian first, two doses of COVAX-19, or a placebo, will be injected into the individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 at the Royal Adelaide Hospital's clinical trial unit.

The vaccine candidate was developed by Adelaide-based company Vaxine, which has laboratories at Flinders University.

Vaxine research director Professor Nikolai Petrovsky said if those given the jab developed the correct antibodies, the clinical trials could then be expanded to include thousands of Australian volunteers in just a few weeks.

"The key thing here is to confirm the safety of the vaccine and the fact that it is producing the right antibodies," she said on Sunrise this morning.

"We're very confident this vaccine is going to go very well."

If COVAX-19 is successful in preventing COVID-19 infection and is granted all the required approvals, it could be made available worldwide within the next six months.

Prof Petrovsky said the dose had been used in the past against similar strains of influenza such as swine flu and did not expect to see any adverse side effects in the human trials.

It comes after the Food and Drug Administration issued new rules on Tuesday for companies developing COVID-19 vaccines.

The new guidance states the vaccine must reduce the risk of disease caused by COVID-19 by at least 50 per cent when compared with the placebo.

COVAX-19 is one of more than 100 coronavirus vaccines under development across the globe, although fewer than 20 that have made it to human trials.

Originally published as Australian-first vaccine trials begin


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