Publications & Reports

The most promising vaccines for COVID-19.

Cunningham A, Chappell K, Copolov D, Crabb B, Cuthbertson A, Doherty P, Drummer H, Foley C, Godfrey D, Halton J, Kelleher A , Majumdar S, McDonald C, Munro T, Purcell D, Young P


This rapid research brief responds to the question: What are the most promising vaccines in development globally and nationally, and what are their mechanisms of action, their stage of development and their strengths and limitations?

• There are currently 10 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 in clinical trials. Many of these vaccines are being developed using new platforms and technologies.

• National and international initiatives are being implemented at an unprecedented scale to speed up the research translation process.

• It is likely that several vaccine candidates will generate initial human safety and efficacy results in 2020. These results could inform the initial use of a limited number of vaccine doses under emergency or compassionate protocols for at-risk populations including frontline health workers, the elderly and those with significant comorbidities.

• It is too early to select the ‘most promising’ vaccine candidate as we do not yet know their safety or efficacy, or our capability to manufacture them at large scale under Good Manufacturing Practice conditions. Furthermore, it is not a given that vaccines licensed first will be the most effective.

• An Australian-produced vaccine candidate is expected to enter human clinical trials in July 2020.

• It will be important for Australian researchers and industry to maintain strong collaborations with global vaccine consortia.

Link to Australian Acadamy of Sciences web site


  • Journal: Rapid Research Information Forum - Australian Academy of Sciences
  • Published: 11/05/2020