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Australian researchers race to find coronavirus vaccine

Scientists all over the world are racing to find a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases worldwide surges to over 14,000.

In Australia, the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) has been tasked with developing a system to test out potential vaccines.

“What AAHL has been commissioned to do is develop a system whereby anyone that has a candidate vaccine, so a vaccine which they think will work but they haven’t done the proof of its safety and efficacy, they can plug it into our pipeline and they can whiz it through and get a result very quickly,” Professor Trevor Drew, AAHL Director, told 3AW’s Dee Dee.

Researchers hope a vaccine for the deadly virus will be available to the public in six months time.

“We hope we will have something ready for vaccine producers to use by about March or April, and it will probably take three months to get it through the pipeline, so we’re hoping about six months in total,” Professor Drew said.

But there are fears the coronavirus could mutate, setting back the progress made by researchers.

“There is certainly a risk that any virus that is new in its host will evolve, and actually, coronaviruses do have slightly more potential for that than many others, because of the way they multiply in the host, so we do have this concern,” Professor Drew said.

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