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Expert says COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in Melbourne is ‘quite likely’ to be effective

Ross and Russel
Article image for Expert says COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in Melbourne is ‘quite likely’ to be effective

Production of the world’s most promising potential COVID-19 vaccine will begin in Melbourne on Monday, fuelling hopes that the leading drug candidate is nearing approval for human use.

The first Melbourne-made doses of the drug developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University will be ready in two months.

The results of phase three human trials of the drug are not yet public, but the decision to start production in Australia has raised hopes that the results are good.

Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services and Professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, Associate Professor Paul Griffin, says the production is “a big gamble”.

But he’s hopeful.

“The AstraZenica vaccine is looking quite likely to be both safe and effective,” he told Ross and Russel.

“A vaccine that is at least 50 per cent protective even … will go a really long way to protecting enough people that it’ll be a huge help.”

Professor Griffin says beginning to produce a vaccine now means, if it’s proven effective, it’ll be ready as soon as possible.

“It’s an expensive gamble but it’s one that puts us in a great position,” he said.

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