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Australian vaccine reduces COVID-19 symptoms, boosts immunity

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Testing of an Australian COVID-19 vaccine has provided protection against the virus in animal trials and shown no negative side effects in humans.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said results from the University of Queensland vaccine trials were "very encouraging".

Researchers today said it provided protection against the virus in animal trials and showed no negative side effects in humans.

"This is really good news, especially coming out of Australia," Professor Kidd told Today.

"We have some of the top vaccine researchers in the world based in our country who are putting their efforts into finding the vaccine for COVID-19 and very encouraging to see these early results coming out from the trials being run by the University of Queensland."

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Project co-leader Associate Professor Keith Chappell said when given to hamsters, the vaccine produced a good level of protection.

"The neutralising immune response created by our molecular clamp vaccine in animal models was better than the average level of antibodies found in patients who have recovered from COVID-19," Dr Chappell said.

"In hamster models, the vaccine combined with the Seqirus MF59® adjuvant, provided protection against virus replication, and reduced lung inflammation following exposure to the virus.

"It also induces a strong T-cell response and showed strong results when it came to data relating to manufacturability."

And none of the 120 human participants who received a single vaccine dose experienced any negative side effects.

Dr Chappell said the researchers were working with pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure the vaccine - if successful - could be manufactured in Australia on a large scale.

"We are working with CSL to ensure the production yield is as efficient as possible, and have every confidence they will be able to manufacture the millions of doses required to protect the Australian public," he said.

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"The Phase one study being conducted in Queensland is progressing well and assuming the study demonstrates adequate safety and immune responses, data should be available in time for CSL to commence the required large-scale efficacy study before the end of the year."

Queensland's Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the results were a huge milestone.

"A vaccine is vital in putting an end to this pandemic. That's why the government has thrown its support behind UQ with $10 million in funding to fast-track this research," Ms Jones said.

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Source: 9News

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