Coronavirus breakthrough? Immunologist reveals key step in developing a vaccine

Viral immunology expert Katherine Kedzierska explained the work she and her team have been doing at Doherty Institute in an important step in moving towards developing a vaccine. She told Nine News Australia: “The specific cell populations we have seen emerging in the patient’s blood before they recovered we have seen similar populations in influenza-infected patients.

“Knowing that patients can mount antibody responses is important for vaccine development as the majority of the vaccines are based on antibody responses.”

Nine News Australia’s Brett McLeod noted the consistent and early work from the Doherty Institute could help speed up the overall global response to the virus.

He said: “This is some encouraging news that we needed on coronavirus.

“At the Doherty Institute, they were the first place outside of China to isolate the coronavirus.

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“They have done some testing on what effect it has on the body and they started doing this almost as soon as they realised there was a problem.

“There was a woman who was from Wuhan in China who tested positive for COVID-19 when she came to Melbourne.

“What they found was for most healthy people the body responds to it within three days and produces anti-bodies similar to that used in the flu.

“Even though this is a new virus – that is a good bit of news – as it shows most bodies can handle this fairly quickly.”

Mr Mcleod admitted this news is not an indicator the vaccine will be available soon but it could mean Governments around the world can use more targeting testing to control the virus.

He continued: “Overall their work can work on vaccine development and also determining which patients are most likely to have the most severe effects.

“That could lead to more targeted therapy for those that really need it.


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“This is a really good breakthrough but I will stress though that this is no indication that any vaccine is going to be available anytime soon.

“But it does allow much more targeting testing for vaccines to speed up the process before they are available.”

Governments across the world have implored their scientists to focus their efforts on finding out as much about the deadly virus to help combat its impact on society.

At the time of writing Australia has confirmed 438 people have coronavirus and there have been five deaths due to the disease.

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