The Phase 1 trial will recruit 150 participants with screening and enrolments of participants now open.
The key goal is to examine the safety of two doses of the vaccine given one month apart. If the trial is successful, then a larger phase 2 trial will be undertaken.
The trial will also look at whether a lower vaccine dose may work better following vaccination into the skin rather than muscle, which is important as it could enable more people to be vaccinated with the available vaccine supply.
Lead Investigator Associate Professor Nicholas Wood from the University of Sydney said: “We are very excited to start enrolment along with our colleagues in Perth and Adelaide, and to undertake the first needle-free COVID vaccine trial in Australia. The start of the COVALIA study is a significant milestone for all involved in this one-of-a-kind partnership between Australian institutions, the industry and the Australian Government with $3 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).”
Co-Investigator Professor Peter Richmond from the Telethon Kids Institute said, “It is really important that we continue to develop the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, as we may see even better safety and immune responses. Having a greater range of vaccines available increases global vaccine capacity to ensure everyone has access to immunisation.”
Co-Investigator Professor Helen Marshall from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and The University of Adelaide said “It’s a great opportunity for Australians to contribute to developing safe and effective COVID vaccines for the Australian population, and especially as it’s a needle free vaccination.”