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Tests for potential COVID-19 vaccine to start next month

Digital picture of a COVID-19 cell.

By Juliano Oliveira

Queensland Government is calling for volunteers to be tested for a potential COVID-19 vaccine next month.

Global pharmaceuticals giant CSL Ltd signed an agreement with major funding backer the CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and the University of Queensland to produce a vaccine immediately.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Queensland’s vaccine was now only one of five worldwide to have a manufacturing deal with CEPI.

“This has the potential to save thousands of lives not only in Queensland but across the globe,” Ms Jones said.

“We invested more than $10 million back in March to fast-track the development of the UQ vaccine by six months.”

“Today we’re putting out the call for up to 100 volunteers to take part in human clinical trials in July.”

Ms Jones said today’s announcement could provide a huge boost to Queensland’s pharmaceuticals industry.

“We also have the capacity to conduct clinical trials on life-saving new vaccines.”

“This will help us tap into a multi-trillion-dollar industry and create more jobs for Queenslanders in the future.”

“CSL will manufacture the vaccine for phase 2 and 3 clinical trials, involving larger groups of volunteers, and if all goes well, they will also manufacture the final vaccine for Australian and global demand.”

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