CSL confident it can make vaccine to cover variants, if needed by Liam Mannix



CSL confident it can make vaccine to cover variants, if needed by Liam Mannix


CSL is confident it can make an updated version of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to cover any virus variants that might arise – putting the ball in the medical regulator’s court for a quick approval.

It comes as the Australian pharma giant prepares to begin the process of bottling the first doses of the life-saving vaccine in the coming days.

A small South African study sent shockwaves around the world this week after it found AstraZeneca’s vaccine was only about 10 per cent efficacious against the South African variant; that nation’s government soon paused the roll-out of the vaccine. AstraZeneca has said it is working on a booster jab, which will be released within the year.

Scientists remain hopeful the original vaccine will still provide protection against serious illness and death.Dr Andrew Nash, CSL’s chief scientific officer, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that editing the vaccine to cover variants would be quick and easy. Once AstraZeneca supplied the updated materials, CSL could immediately begin production.


The bigger question, Dr Nash said, would be whether the Therapeutic Goods Administration would approve an edited vaccine immediately or require it to go through an additional round of clinical trials.

“The interesting thing I think will be the extent to which the regulatory agencies require full-blown new clinical studies,” he said.

“In reality, you have a completely new vaccine: it has a sequence change, it is targeting that variant. Will the regulatory authorities require a phase one, phase two, phase three trial to release those vaccines? Hopefully not, but that is their decision.”

The TGA did not return a request for comment by deadline.

The federal government has contracted CSL to make 50 million doses of AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine. The first batch is set for harvest on Monday at the company’s Parkville campus before a six-week process of testing and filling the vaccine into vials.

A vaccination campaign is expected to begin in March, the federal government has said. CSL hopes to make more than one million doses a week when at full production.

AstraZeneca’s viral-vector technology inserts the genetic code for SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein inside a virus common to chimpanzees, which then infects human cells after vaccination. The cells read the code and produce the spike protein, prompting the human immune system to generate antibodies that can neutralise it.

However, the immune system also naturally raises antibodies to the chimpanzee virus – leading some scientists to raise concerns it may not be possible to boost the AstraZeneca vaccine, if a booster is needed to cover emerging variants.

“Eventually, those antibodies may block the [chimpanzee virus] vector from getting inside the cell to make the spike protein,” Associate Professor Corey Smith, head of translational and human immunology at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, said earlier this week.

“Are they going to be able to make new vaccines every year? You probably make antibodies to the vector. It may still be OK, but that’s also an unknown.”

Dr Nash dismissed those concerns. If a booster was required, AstraZeneca could select an alternative virus for use in the vaccine, he said.

“The format might have to be changed, but we will work that out.”

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Know your COVID-19 vaccine before you roll up your sleeves?-By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Harold Gunatillake

Australia will start giving the vaccine by mid-late February starting with the vulnerable people.
Are you prepared to have the vaccine when it comes to your turn. This talk may help you to decide
whether to have the jab or not.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe when it has not undergone adequate testing?
The US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines, in many countries, and so far, it is supposed to be safe, from large clinical trials, except for minor side effects and reactions lasting for a few days in a very few.
In order, for the authorization to be granted, the vaccine manufacturers need to follow-up for at least two months after the trial emergency vaccination, and the vaccine must be proved safe and effective in  the respective population vaccinated.
Dozens of coronavirus vaccines have entered the clinical trials during 2020, and now a handful have been authorized to the public while the developers continue collecting data on their safety and efficacy. In a few months, it is hoped that all these vaccines would have met with all the necessary criteria and the jabs will start with more confidence.
Australia could start vaccinating vulnerable groups of the population next month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed, saying approvals for the Pfizer vaccine were hoped to be finalized by the end of January.
He hopes to vaccinate 80,000 people each week to begin with, and for that to build over the 4 to 6 weeks

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Cabinet approves to enter agreement to receive COVID Vaccines through COVAX facility


Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to enter into agreements with COVID-19 vaccine producers under the COVAX facility.

This is a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure equal distribution among the countries, subsequently to the manufacturing of secure and effective COVID 19 vaccines is known as COVAX facility .

The production and development of the vaccines for the COVID 19 are being accelerated and ensure the eventual reach to every country in the world to receive the COVID 19 vaccines through this facility.

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Turning Point- COVID Vaccine approved-By Dr Harold Gunatillake

Harold Gunatillake


Please do surf my website:www.Doctorharold.com


What you should know before the jab

Turning point is hopefully back to normal life among all humankind and living just a way we lived yester years, hopefully towards the end of 2021 will dawn.

The global immunization program has started, and that is what we were hopefully anticipating.

In the US. FDA has approved Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine, and the American people will start getting the vaccine next week.

The hope is that lockdowns will slow the spread of the disease and in the meantime, a vaccine will be deployed that will safely build herd immunity in the population.

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