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Government in 'advanced negotiations' to produce COVID vaccine in Australia

Prof Tony Cunningham told SBS News the speed in which this vaccine is being developed is "going to break records." Source: SBS News

The Australian government says it's in 'advanced negotiations' with a range of different companies regarding a coronavirus vaccine. The health minister, Greg Hunt, says he expects it will be available to the public by next year. But with many countries already securing deals with companies around the world, the opposition says the government is late to the game.

Globally there are around 30 vaccines that have reached human trials. These trials are broken down into three phases.

During phase 1 the vaccine is given to a small group of people to determine it's safe.

In Phase 2 the sample size is expanded to a few hundred.

By phase 3, it's administered to thousands of people to confirm its effectiveness.

The furthest along right now is the Oxford University trial which has begun phase 3 in Brazil.

American biotech company Moderna and Chinese company Sinovac are not far behind.

Three Australian vaccines are in the mix too, having completed phase one trials in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky is behind the Flinders University research in South Australia. He says his team is so far seeing positive results, but flagged there's still some months to go.

To get a vaccine all the way through the clinical trial programs and to show that it has evidence that it's working is going to take at least until the end of this year, potentially into early next year.

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this feature in Punjabi.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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