Volunteers receive first dose in clinical trial of Melbourne-made COVID-19 vaccines

The first six participants in the clinical trial of two Melbourne-made COVID-19 vaccines have been safely administered their doses, marking a significant moment in the development of the new vaccine candidates.

Led by Principal Investigator Professor Terry Nolan from the Department of Infectious Diseases, the two vaccine candidates were created by researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) and Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) and are distinct from existing vaccines in use around the globe.

These vaccines focus the immune response on the tip of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, called the receptor binding domain (RBD). The RBD enables the virus to enter and infect cells in the body and elicits over 90 per cent of neutralising antibodies (antibodies that can block the virus) following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Professor Sharon Lewin, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Doherty Institute, said next generation vaccines will be an important tool to combat new variants as they arise and to help bring the global pandemic under control.