Professor Miguel Quiñones-Mateu speaks to 1 NEWS about the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19. "We cannot sit on the sideline. We cannot wait for everybody else to do the job. We have to do it ourselves. Once we know we have a winner, just forget about the other ones and go for that one,” says Dr Quiñones-Mateu.
Scientists In New Zealand are collaborating with their Australian counterparts on a vaccine and say proper investment is badly needed. Seventy vaccines are in development. Add to that efforts by scientists at Otago University. "We cannot sit on the sideline. We cannot wait for everybody else to do the job. We have to do it ourselves,” says Miguel Quiñones-Mateu of University of Otago.
Scientists have their own respirators and require head-to-toe protection as Covid-19 is being grown in a Dunedin lab.
"So the idea is to propagate and grow the virus to have enough of that to study the biology, transmissibility, pathogenicity,” says Mr Quiñones-Mateu.Labs around the world are racing to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
"Once we know we have a winner, just forget about the other ones and go for that one,” says Mr Quiñones-Mateu. The Malagahn Institute, an independent research centre in Wellington, is also behind the work.It says New Zealand cannot wait for other countries to come up with the cure.
"Countries have to vaccinate their own populations first. Take America - 300 million people. Say it takes three doses of the vaccine to make particular immunity, that's 900 million doses,” says Graham Le Gros, Malaghan Institute director.
* Tom Devine