CSIRO finds new COVID-19 vaccine effective against Delta strain

CSIRO scientists have helped to test a new thermostable vaccine against major Covid variants. Picture: Supplied
CSIRO scientists have helped to test a new thermostable vaccine against major Covid variants. Picture: Supplied

A new potential vaccine against Covid that does not need to be placed in cold storage facilities has been found to be effective against major virus variants.

The findings come following research undertaken by CSIRO scientists in evaluating the new vaccine, being developed by the Indian Institute of Science and biotech company Mynvax.

While vaccines currently being used as part of Australia's rollout need to be stored at cold temperatures, sometimes up to minus 70 degrees, the new vaccine has been shown to remain stable in warmer conditions.

Findings have shown the vaccine candidate can last at 37 degrees for up to one month and at 100 degrees for up to 90 minutes.

It's hoped the new thermostable vaccine, which has so far been tested on mice, can be used in remote parts of Australia or other countries where access to cold storage is limited.

Human trials will be conducted later this year.

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CSIRO COVID-19 project leader SS Vasan said studies conducted by the scientific organisation showed the vaccine worked against the more contagious Delta strain.

"It's able to neutralise all four major variants of concern equally well," Dr Vasan said.

"When combined with the complement of the vaccine being thermostable, it makes it an excellent second-generation vaccine candidate.

"The first generation were vaccines like AstraZeneca and Pfizer and became available in late 2020, but as the pandemic progresses, we need to find new vaccines to throw against new variants."

CSIRO scientists contributed to the study by assessing blood samples for efficacy against the Covid variants.

The organisation's health and biosecurity director Rob Grenfell said with new strains of the pandemic spreading globally, more research was needed into new vaccines and treatment options.

"Since the start of the pandemic, CSIRO has played a crucial role in fighting COVID-19 by conducting preclinical evaluation of two COVID-19 vaccines including Oxford-AstraZeneca, tracking emerging variants of concern, and monitoring wastewater to detect hotspots in the community," he said.

The research was published in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases.

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This story Warm vaccine works against variant first appeared on The Canberra Times.