Australia Scraps Billion Dollar Coronavirus Vaccine After Participants Test HIV Positive

The Australian Government has scrapped a billion dollar coronavirus vaccine agreement with Australian biotech company CSL Limited to supply 51 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Queensland after several trial participants returned false positive HIV test results.

The University of Queensland has abruptly ended its trials for coronavirus vaccine the Australian government had ordered in a $1 billion deal for 51 million doses. The deal was terminated after participants returned false positive HIV test results over fears that vaccine mishap would damage the public’s confidence in the COVID-19 vaccination program.

On Friday the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said:

“University of Queensland vaccine will not be able to proceed based on the scientific advice, and that will no longer feature as part of Australia’s vaccine plan.”

Australian vaccine scientist Nikolai Petrovsky had warned the government about the risk of including HIV in a vaccine months before the $1billion deal was signed.

Mr Petrovsky told The Australian the problem with the use of HIV was clear in the ‘hamster and mouse data’ but his advice was ignored. He said  the early data suggested the vaccine itself was quite unstable.

‘Overall it just didn’t look like it was going to be a successful vaccine, that’s why we were surprised when the government committed millions of dollars to it, it just seemed disproportionate.’

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