COVID-19 does not appear to mutate as quickly as the flu in what Australia’s national science research officials say is an encouraging sign for vaccine developers.
Researchers at the CSIRO are part of a joint global effort to build a vaccine for the virus.
CSIRO director of the health and biosecurity business unit, Rob Grenfell, says its researchers have been studying changes in the virus as part of efforts to create a vaccine.
“What’s important is if the virus decides to change,” Dr Grenfell told 3AW radio this morning.
“We all know the flu changes every year, so we have to make a new vaccine every year for that.
“What it appears is the coronavirus isn’t as cunning. I mean it’s an unbelievable foe, but it’s not changing or pivoting in the way the flu does every year so that’s reassuring.”
CSIRO researchers began preclinical studies for two potential vaccines in late March. They are studying how long the virus takes to develop and replicate, how it affects the respiratory system and how it can be transmitted.