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Australian vaccine cancelled after ‘false positive’ HIV tests

Sky News Australia logo Sky News Australia 10/12/2020 Sky News Australia

University of Queensland's potential coronavirus vaccine with biotech company CSL has been abandoned after multiple trial participants returned false positive HIV test results.

Their vaccine was one of four which the Morrison government had entered into a deal with – marking a blow to Australia's potential pool of vaccine options.

The deal was terminated days after the government was informed about the issue on Monday.

By Thursday, National Cabinet decided to scrap the use of the vaccine.

More than 200 participants took part in the trial with several returning the false positive HIV test results.

The University of Queensland-CSL vaccine uses a small component derived from HIV which is unable to infect people or replicate but can initiate a response in the body that can interfere in the screening process and return a false positive.

Scott Morrison et al. looking at a computer © Provided by Sky News Australia

A source told the Sydney Morning Herald the people were not at risk.

The decision to scrap the deal was out of an abundance of caution.

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