A Queensland-made COVID-19 vaccine could be widely available by late 2021 after early trials showed promising signs, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says.
Inspecting labs at Brisbane’s University of Queensland (UQ), Hunt said development of the vaccine was ahead of schedule, with phase-one tests showing it was safe.
“The initial data is very clear, that the [UQ] vaccine is proving to be safe through phase-one clinical trials and it’s proving to produce a positive anti-body response,” he said.
“That means it’s doing its job. That’s particularly so in the elderly, and that is an especially important outcome, given the vulnerability to elderly around the world from COVID-19.
“Our medical researchers are national heroes.”
The vaccine is being manufactured in Australia at CSL’s biologics facility in Victoria.
Hunt said CSL will work towards regulatory approval to commence phase-three clinical trials, due before the end of this year.
Agreements have been made for 51 million doses of the vaccine, known as V451.
The vaccine is one of four the Federal Government plans to buy.
Hunt told ABC Radio Brisbane earlier today that selected Australians could get access to the Pfizer jab by March.
Pfizer has reported its candidate vaccine had a 90 per cent effectiveness rate in late-stage clinical trials. Mr Hunt said health workers and the elderly could have access to the drug by March, pending approvals.
“It’s a real sign of hope and progress … it’s Australian-developed and Australian-made,” he said.
Jump to next article