Australia: COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Stopped

Several participants in the early age trials of a potential vaccine in Australia started to generate antibodies for HIV. The vaccine is reportedly being developed by University of Queensland (UQ) in collaboration with a biotech company CSL.

216 people were part of the phase 1 trial of the v451 COVID-19 vaccine. Thankfully, there were no serious adverse events or safety concerns.

UQ and CSL, after discussing with the Australian Government, decided to stop the trials for phase 2 and 3, keeping the well-being of the participants in mind.

“The researchers at UQ did the right thing by prioritising the safety of participants and the soundness of science by stopping when they did.”

Diego Silva, University of Sydney School of Public Health

The university said there is no possibility the vaccine causes infection, and routine follow up tests confirmed there is no HIV virus present.

Reacting to the announcement, Sanjaya Senanayake, a specialist in Infectious Diseases and Associate Professor of Medicine at The Australian National University, said while it is disappointing that an Australian vaccine candidate has been taken off the table, it is not surprising that one of the many COVID-19 vaccines has failed.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison says Covid-19 vaccines will be approved on ‘an Australian timetable’ after the trial was cancelled.

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia

“While the UK and US have approved a vaccine by Pfizer, Australia won’t be rushed into a decision. We want to ensure that Australians, and I think all of us feel very strongly this way, have full confidence, absolute full confidence that when it gets the tick they can get the jab.”

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister

Australia has so far reported 28,011 cases of coronavirus and 908 deaths related to it, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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