A potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in Australia has showed positive results in human clinical trials. The vaccine candidate has shown zero side effects in human trials so far and has shown promising results when tried on animals.
In July, the University of Queensland (UQ) and Australian biotech giant CSL began the trial with injecting 120 Brisbane volunteers with the potential shot against the novel coronavirus infection, reported DailyMail.
After the first trial doses were administered on animals, project co-leader Associate Professor Keith Chappell said it was successful.
The UQ vaccine, which uses what is known as "molecular clamp" technology, created the neutralising immune response in animal models, which was better than the average level of antibodies found in patients who have recovered from COVID-19, Dr Chappell was quoted as saying.
Hamsters in the Netherlands were also administered the drug. The UQ team gave doses of the vaccine to the animals and then exposed them to coronavirus to test whether the drug provoked the desired immune response.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
In hamster models, the vaccine combined with the Seqirus MF59® adjuvant, provided protection against virus replication, and reduced lung inflammation following exposure to the novel coronavirus, said the report.
Also, none of the 120 human participants who received a single vaccine dose experienced any negative side effects, it said.
UQ's Brisbane project is one of just 17 human trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine undergoing worldwide to halt the global coronavirus pandemic, including in the United States, United Kingdom and China.
On August 19, CSL Ltd had raised hopes of delivering a coronavirus vaccine within a year.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.