EXPERT REACTION: South Australian COVID-19 vaccine trial clears phase 1

Embargoed until: Publicly released:
Not peer-reviewed: This work has not been scrutinised by independent experts, or the story does not contain research data to review (for example an opinion piece). If you are reporting on research that has yet to go through peer-review (eg. conference abstracts and preprints) be aware that the findings can change during the peer review process.

It is being reported today that South Australian company Vaxine is to begin phase two trials of its COVID-19 vaccine after the vaccine was found to be safe and generate an immune response in phase one trials. Led by Professor Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders University, phase one trials began at the beginning of the month, with the company yet to release any data or peer-reviewed research on the trials. Below, an Australian expert responds.

Organisation/s: Australian Science Media Centre, Mater Research, The University of Queensland

Funder: N/A


  • Reuters
    Web page
    Reuters media report

Expert Reaction

These comments have been collated by the Science Media Centre to provide a variety of expert perspectives on this issue. Feel free to use these quotes in your stories. Views expressed are the personal opinions of the experts named. They do not represent the views of the SMC or any other organisation unless specifically stated.

Paul Griffin is Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland, and Medical Director and Principal Investigator at Q-Pharm, Nucleus Network

Any COVID-19 vaccine that enters clinical trials, much less progresses through any of the significant clinical trial milestones, is a great achievement, both for that vaccine and for COVID-19 vaccine development generally. This, therefore, is a positive announcement.

A word of caution, however, in that no data has been shared, much less published in a peer-reviewed journal, which is really what is required to substantiate any claims of safety or efficacy. This should hopefully follow in the near future. It was also a rather small phase 1 study and, when talking about immune responses, only an antibody response has thus far been mentioned. And only systemic side-effects have been mentioned as not being present. So, I would also eagerly await information relating to other immunological studies as well as local side-effect rates.

Overall, however, it is great to hear that the small phase 1 trial of this vaccine has generated sufficient data to approve it being utilised in further studies.

Last updated: 31 Jul 2020 2:20pm
Declared conflicts of interest:
Paul is running a number of Covid-19 vaccine studies (Novavax and UQ).

News for:


Media contact details for this story are only visible to registered journalists.