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Human Trials for a COVID-19 Vaccine Have Started in Australia

The trials are set to last 12 months.
by Clara Rosales
Jul 13, 2020
Photo/s: Pexels

It would be an understatement to say that COVID-19 has changed a lot of things. It has altered the very way we live, from how we communicate, how we work, and how we consume. A world before the respiratory seems so far away, and it may take some time before we’re allowed to freely walk again, returning to our favorite hangout spots with close friends.

While social distancing and coping with the pandemic are the only solutions right now, experts are still working day and night to hit gold and find a COVID-19 vaccine. There are developments every day, and every new one is one step closer to a world free from the woes of a pandemic.

Human trials for a possible COVID-19 vaccine have started over at Australia, in the University of Queensland.

A total of 121 volunteers signed up for the trials, and on July13, they received the first dose of potential immunization.

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Here’s how the trial goes

Volunters will be injected with two doses every four weeks, and will be examined to check their responses and reactions to the vaccine.

This will go on for a 12-month period, but preliminary results of the trial are expected as early as the end of September.

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The Queensland Government invested $10 million to fund the research and hasten vaccine development.

Vaccines, unlike instant noodles, aren’t ready in a snap. Professor Paul Young said it wasn’t easy to give an exact date as to when the vaccine would be ready, but the team was aiming for 12 months’ time.

Developing and administering means putting a bit of the virus back in you, albeit neutralized. It sounds dangerous, but Young said that they’ve been running tests since February to ensure that it’s safe for the volunteers.

In a report on ABC, Young said "This testing showed that the vaccine was effective in the lab in neutralising the virus and safe to give to humans."

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To clarify, this isn’t the COVID-19 vaccine yet. However, Young said working with a manufacturing company could make the vaccine available faster once the trials prove the vaccine works.

If all goes well, the next step is to produce more and conduct large-scale clinical testing, then go for approval. If approved, the next step is to mass-produce the vaccine and distribute it.

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