Development of the Covid-19 vaccine in Australia was discontinued on Friday after clinical trials resulted in false-positive HIV results among subjects involved in early-stage testing.
As a result, the government was urged to buy millions of vaccine candidates and instead ax plans to increase orders for alternatives from AstraZeneca and Novax, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“The University of Queensland vaccines can no longer be based on scientific advice and will no longer function as part of Australia’s vaccine program,” Morrison said.
Vaccine candidates, still under Phase 1 trials at the University of Queensland, used small amounts of HIV protein as a “molecular clamp,” but caused an antibody response that could interfere with HIV screening, Greg Hunt said. Said.
The vaccine was promising for controlling Covid-19 and had no potential for HIV transmission, but development was discontinued because it could undermine public confidence in vaccination, said Brendan Murphy, Secretary of Health. ..
“It probably worked very well as a vaccine, but I can’t confidently have problems,” Murphy said.
Professor Paul Young of the University of Queensland argued that the HIV protein used in the vaccine was “completely harmless” and did not pose a health risk to those who participated in the trial.
The government said the announcement did not change the planned deployment of other vaccines starting in March.
With only a small number of infections recorded daily in Australia, the government said it could afford to take a relatively cautious approach to vaccines compared to large outbreaks.
Australia has a population of 25 million and has recorded 28,000 Covid-19s, killing about 900 people.
Switzerland secures another 3 million Moderna vaccine doses
© 2020 AFP
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Australian Covid vaccine falls below false positive HIV results
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