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Coronavirus Australia: promising vaccine COVAX-19 could be ready in ‘three or four months’

Adelaide scientists have been working overtime on a new vaccine which has already shown promising results after clearing its first phase of human trials.

The drug named COVAX-19 was trialled on 40 volunteers earlier this month.

The vaccine is showing promising signs it “could actually save lives”, the developers of the vaccine said, who also predict it could safely be used in humans immediately.

In fact, vaccine developer Professor Nikolai Petrovsky claims there’s no reason it can’t be used in Victorian aged care homes now.

“We have something that we believe already has shown it can potentially save lives,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“The data suggests it’s highly effective, we just need to finish the clinical trial programs and then seek approval for it.

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Appearing on Sunrise, Professor Nikolai Petrovsky described the update as “very exciting”.

“Safety data from the clinical trials shows the vaccine isn’t showing any problems at all and is inducing the right type of immune response,” he said.

Mr Petrovsky said the vaccine had been shown to produce “very strong” antibodies which kill coronavirus in monkeys, ferrets and mice, and had been proven to induce an antibody response in humans.

While the Australian government “knocked back” Mr Petrovsky’s request for help funding the trial, he said he’s already negotiating with the Canadian and UK governments for funding.

RELATED: Russia claims vaccine approval on track for August

Phase two trials for COVAX-19 (with 400-500 volunteers) are scheduled to begin in September.

“Now we do much bigger clinical trials in a larger number of individuals to prove the vaccine is working,” Mr Petrovsky added.

The final trial (involving 50,000 volunteers) is the final stage before the vaccine would be made available to the public.

If all goes well, Mr Petrovsky says the drug could be available to everyone within “three or four months”.

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