Australia

Government gives $2 million to Australian researchers to develop coronavirus vaccine

Prime Minister Scott Morrison watches on as Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health speaks during a visit to the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Tuesday, 18 February. Source: AAP

The federal government will create a $2 million grant pool for Australian experts to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Australian researchers will share in a $2 million federal grant fund to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the cash pool at the Peter Doherty Institute in Melbourne on Tuesday where experts were the first to grow coronavirus outside of China.

Medical workers provide treatment to a new coronavirus patient at a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.
Medical workers provide treatment to a new coronavirus patient at a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.
AAP

"We are going to be putting that money into a competitive program to find a vaccine," Mr Morrison told reporters.

"There are many research projects that are going on around the world to do this very task, and Australia is going to play its part in that process.

"We want to get as many of the brightest and smartest minds in Australia, working on this task."

Researchers from across the country will be able to apply for money from the Medical Research Future Fund in hope of developing a coronavirus vaccine.

The grant will add to the work being undertaken by the institute, CSIRO and University of Queensland.

Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne last month grew the virus in the lab.

Australian evacuees who were quarantined on Christmas Island over concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus arrive at Sydney Airport in Sydney.
Australian evacuees who were quarantined on Christmas Island over concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus arrive at Sydney Airport in Sydney.
AAP

It is expected to help generate an antibody test, to help detect the virus in patients who have not shown symptoms.

The Medical Research Future Fund will firm up the details of the grant process this week, and will advise the government on the merit order of the research.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch