We asked the lead investigators of trials around Australia to tell us about their vaccines: when the trials are being held, how they work, and how they might kill coronavirus.(Supplied: CSIRO)ShareFacebookTwitterArticle share optionsShare this onFacebookTwitterLinkedInSend this byEmailMessengerCopy linkWhatsAppPrint contentPrint with images and other mediaPrint text onlyPrintCancelThe race is on to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. There are now?more than 140 vaccines?being tested around the world, according to the World Health Organization.Australian researchers are leading several major clinical trials that might help bring an end to the deadly disease.We asked the lead investigators of trials around Australia to tell us about their vaccines: when the trials are being held, how they work, and how they might kill or impede the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.For the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic follow our live coverage.What you need to knowKylie Quinn, RMITVaccine development normally progresses through a series of steps that enable researchers to collect all the data needed to approve a vaccine for the clinic. Initially, vaccines are tested in the lab, using cells in culture and animals that mimic human disease, to determine whether the vaccine is safe and worth developing further.Promising vaccines are then evaluated in clinical trials with human volunteers, where researchers ask:1.Is the vaccine safe, and what dose should be used? (Phase 1)2.Can the vaccine generate an immune response? (Phase 2)3.Can the vaccine protect from infection or disease? (Phase 3)With SARS-CoV-2, researchers are speeding up this process by running one trial while simultaneously recruiting for the next phase. This uses lessons learnt during the Ebola epidemic, when a vaccine was?developed in a record time of just five years.Despite this acceleration, many researchers' best guess is that it will be at least early 2021 before a vaccine might be approved (and the next challenge is to manufacture enough of it). This may seem like a long time, but it is lightning fast for a vaccine.But it isn't a sure thing yet. One concern is that when people recover from infection with other human coronaviruses,?immunity can wane relatively quickly. It seems vaccines will have to do much better than this "natural immunity".Fortunately, early data from human trials suggests vaccines can?generate stronger responses than natural immunity. Our next questions are: how long will these responses last, and will they protect us?The waiting game continues.Read more about coronavirus:Don't want to stack shelves? Why the new JobSeeker rules mean refusing a job will come at a costQuarantine guards in Melbourne hotels were recruited via WhatsAppHere are some of the leading vaccine candidates so far:Australian contenders'Molecular clamp' vaccine (University of Queensland)Professor Paul Young, University of Queensland University of Queensland researchers conduct experiments to design a vaccine for COVID-19.(Supplied: The University of Queensland)The University of Queensland team began developing a vaccine against COVID-19 on January 10,
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