Aus PM urged to acknowledge 2nd Covid-19 candidate vaccine

The South Australian developer of a candidate vaccine for the novel coronavirus has urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to fund the “promising” project after research for the first one was halted.

On Saturday, Nikolai Petrovsky, the research director of biotechnology company Vaxine, said that the abandonment of the University of Queensland’s candidate vaccine presented an opportunity for funding to the South Australian firm, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Australian government announced on Friday morning that the University of Queensland’s research into a possible Covid-19 vaccine which has undergone phase one clinical trials will not be proceeding to phase three, as which has the potential to interfere with some HIV screening tests, leading to a false positive test result.

In response, Prime Minister Morrison announced that the government would acquire an extra 31 million doses of the candidate vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax.

Human trials of Vaxine’s candidate, called COVAX-19, began in Adelaide, capital city of the state of South Australia, in July but have received limited support from the government.

“I would just love Prime Minister Scott Morrison to acknowledge that there is a second Australian vaccine candidate out there that has very promising data and could actually make a difference,” Petrovsky added.

Australia’s overall Covid-19 caseload increased to 28,025 on Sunday after 13 more people tested for the virus, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

The Department also said that the numbers of locally and overseas acquired cases in the last seven days were zero and 70, respectively.

The country’s death toll stood at 908.