Early testing of an Australian-made COVID-19 vaccine has shown the candidate is “proving to be safe”, and is expected to be ready for distribution by the third quarter of 2021, Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Friday.
“The initial data is very clear – that the vaccine is proving to be safe through phase one clinical trials and that it’s proving to produce a positive antibody response,” Hunt said in Queensland.
“That means it’s doing its job.”
Hunt said that the trials had shown positive results in the elderly, which was “an especially important outcome.”
The vaccine is being developed by the University of Queensland and biotech company CSL.
Hunt said that it was tracking ahead of schedule and its phase-three trials were ready to begin.
Australia has an agreement with the local candidate for 51 million doses of the vaccine.
It also has agreements with the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for 33.8 million doses, Novak for 40 million doses, and Pfizer for 10 million.
On Monday, it was announced that the vaccine being developed by U.S. pharma giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech was proving to be 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.
The government has said that all coronavirus vaccines will be free for Australians, but not mandatory.
Australia, a nation of around 25 million people, has recorded just more than 27,600 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic – significantly fewer than most developed countries.
The country has taken a strict lockdown approach, alongside a system of rigorous testing and tracing to contain the virus. (dpa/NAN)
– Nov. 13, 2020 @ 12:32 GMT |