Pic credit: 9news.com.au
Australian scientists are working on the terminated University of Queensland COVID-19 vaccine trial. They said the decision to abandon the program “had nothing to do with safety.”
The Australian government had been pinning its hopes on the UQ-developed V451 jab; it was one of four vaccines to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. But this vaccine was terminated after a positive false HIV-positive result.
Director of Queensland’s UQ vaccine program, Professor Trent Munro, said stage one of the trial would continue instead of decelerating to pull the plug on a large-scale trial.
He said, “I think the prior thing about this one is that it had nothing to do with safety. So it was not a safety issue.”
He said the patients involved in vaccination would be monitored until mid-next year, but the trial phase would be continued.
Professor Munro said it was a “tough day” for scientists serving on the vaccine trial.
“It is tough where things were all going in the exact direction; the whole world had sacrificed a lot in 2020,” he said.
“But that is the purpose we do these studies, and we have such severe clinical evaluation of vaccines before they get accepted.”
The Morrison government had agreed to buy more than 50 million doses of the vaccine before the deal was dropped.
Despite the set-back, Professor Munro said he was “pretty sure” the Australian government has an efficient vaccine plan.
Professor Munro said, “I believe one of the things we could be happy of is that the Australian government has been so proactive in its vaccine approach, viewing at various options, you know, ours involved and many others.”
“We have several agreements, and those should be enough to cover the people a few times over,” he said.