Australia Scraps $750m vaccine Project After Shot Wrongly Gives People Positive HIV Test Results

Australian PM Scott Morrison

LAGOS DECEMBER 13TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Australia has become the first country to scrap a coronavirus vaccine project after a shot developed as part of the $750 million plan led trial participants to falsely test positive for HIV.

The University of Queensland and the Australian biotech firm CSL had been conducting clinical trials on a prototype vaccine with the backing of the Australian government and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

But at a press conference Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the projected was terminated.

“We can’t have any issues with confidence,” he said. “We are as a nation now, with a good portfolio of vaccines, able to make these decisions to best protect the Australian people.”

n its place, Morrison said his government would increase orders of other vaccines, namely 120 million more doses of the Pfizer shot, 20 million more shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 11 million extra doses of the Novavax vaccine.

Speaking after Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the University of Queensland trial vaccine “triggered an antibody response that could interfere with HIV screening.”

Several trial participants who were given a shot of the prototype vaccine had tested positive for HIV, despite not having that virus.

The trial vaccine had used parts of a protein found in HIV, which triggered antibodies commonly seen during HIV testing.

Despite the false-positive HIV test results, the trial vaccine was showing promising signs in combating the coronavirus, the University of Queensland said in a Friday statement.

“The UQ-CSL v451 COVID-19 vaccine has shown that it elicits a robust response towards the virus and has a strong safety profile,” it said, adding, “However, following consultation with the Australian Government, CSL will not progress the vaccine candidate to Phase 2/3 clinical trials.”

The university added: “There is no possibility the vaccine causes infection, and routine follow up tests confirmed there is no HIV virus present.”

As of Friday, Australia had recorded 28,012 cases of COVID-19 and 908 total deaths, Health Ministry data showed.

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Posted by on Dec 13 2020. Filed under Health, International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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