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Australia abandons local Covid vaccine due to concerns about HIV testing

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Australia abandoned the development of a homemade Covid-19 vaccine after several study participants returned “false positives” for HIV.

Canberra announced on Friday that it had purchased 31 million more rival vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca and Novavax, claiming that the retreat would not delay the vaccination program.

The University of Queensland and CSL Pharmaceutical Company Announce Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates Not proceed Concerns that it could interfere with HIV testing procedures and undermine public confidence led to Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials.

However, they said the vaccine was unlikely to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, which could lead to AIDS if left untreated, and regular follow-up tests show that test participants have HIV. It was confirmed not to.

Australia’s director of health, Brendan Murphy, said the trial was discontinued because false positives for HIV could undermine public confidence in the vaccination program.

“It [the vaccine] It could have worked. But I knew I didn’t want to have problems with confidence. This false-positive test could have caused confusion and lack of confidence, but it was a very good technology, “he said.

Canberra plans to launch a vaccination program in March, Suppression The spread of the vaccine meant that there was no need to rush to approve the vaccine.

We have signed an agreement to purchase four vaccines at a cost of A $ 3.3 billion (US $ 2.5 billion), including deals with UQ / CSL, AstraZeneca / Oxford University, Novavax and Pfizer / BioNTech.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the abandonment of the UQ / CSL vaccine would not delay the country’s vaccination program as the CSL would start producing rival vaccines sooner.

Canberra said he had purchased 31 million additional vaccines to ensure population coverage when UQ / CSL notified the government of the trial.

“The net outtake of this is that the ability to advance this production capacity is likely to vaccinate the entire population sooner rather than later,” Morrison told reporters.

CSL / UQ said vaccine candidates developed using breakthrough molecular clamping technology elicit a strong response to the Covid-19 virus and have a strong safety profile.

However, according to both organizations, deploying the vaccine requires significant changes to the well-established HIV testing procedure.

CSL / UQ said there was a problem associated with using small pieces of protein from HIV to create molecular clamps that hold the synthetic virus in the vaccine in place. Test participants developed an antibody against this protein, known as gp41, which interfered with certain HIV tests, they said.

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UQ vaccine leader Paul Young said it was possible to redesign the vaccine, but the team did not have the time to complete this task.

“Doing so will delay development by another 12 months. This is a difficult decision, but the urgent need for vaccines needs to be a priority for everyone,” said Professor Young. ..

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