It’s been four months after Queensland’s home-grown COVID vaccine plans were dashed, but a new hope has reignited University of Queensland researchers to carry on where they left off.
A new report released today looking into the University’s pre-clinical trials has revealed that the local jab could be a major contender against current Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines.
Findings have also revealed the UQ jab isn’t as delicate as the others, allowing it to be stored in your average refrigerator, as compared to Pfizer’s required -70 degree storage temperature.
There are also suggestions the vaccine’s ‘clamp technology’, a feature that sees an extra little protein introduced that helps keeps the injection in the right shape, would potentially make the UQ jab more effective as compared to other vaccines.
The vaccine was originally scrapped late last year following initial results showing some patients had contracted HIV, but they actually didn’t.
A false reading that infectious diseases expert Dr Paul Griffin said was caused by a “protein that resembled a protein in HIV”.
“(It) certainly carried no risk of giving anybody HIV, but it did mean there was some interference of testing for HIV,” Dr Griffin told 9News.
While researchers still continue to work away on its current jab, the effort alone won’t help it re-enter the vaccine race – with the university needing to put forward a whole new case to be considered for a mass-produced vaccine.
Researchers would need to restart up to two year-long clinical trials – and would need a chunk of funding from the Federal Government, who have already set aside up to a billion dollars for the Melbourne-made CSL jab.