The first human trials of Coronavirus vaccine have started in Australia with around 131 people between the age of 18-59 are involved in the trial in Melbourne and Brisbane.
The potential vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, is being developed by the American biotech company Novavax. It started working on the drug in January when the COVID-19 outbreak began in China.
The vaccine aims to boost the body’s immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.
Researchers hope to make around 100 million doses this year, while 1.5 billion by the next year – if the vaccine works.
According to Researchers, vaccines are miracles and have a great way of protecting populations against these severe diseases.
Dr Paul Griffin is an infectious diseases expert who is involved in the Australian COVID 19 trial. He hopes the drug will successfully attack the virus and be ready for use within months.
“We look for antibodies and the type and number of antibodies, and then we take some things out of the subjects through those blood tests and do a lot of laboratory experiments to show that it neutralizes the virus.
The company manufacturing the vaccine have already started that scaling-up process, so they are already making a lot of doses of this vaccine. So if we can prove it is safe and effective then, potentially, by the end of the year there will be a significant number of doses available,” Griffin said.
Australian authorities say the trial is a significant step forward in the global race for a coronavirus vaccine. Some participants will receive a placebo while others will be administered Novavax’s drug.
Novavax has received $388 million from the Norway-based Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. There are more than 100 potential coronavirus vaccines in development.
It is a global race potentially worth billions of dollars to those who can find a safe and reliable treatment for a virus that has killed almost millions around the world.