How COVID-19 vaccines are tested and approved
Australia has strict requirements for the testing and approval of vaccines. Learn how clinical trials work, and how vaccines get approved for use.
COVID-19 vaccines – TGA approval process
This video describes the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s process of how they assess and approve vaccines.
vaccines are one of the most effective
ways to protect against diseases
like covert 19. before covert 19
vaccines can be given to people in
they must first be approved by our world
the therapeutic goods administration
known as the tga
they regulate and approve all vaccines
medicines and other medical goods in
all potential covert 19 vaccines are
currently going through
rigorous testing processes they'll be
carefully assessed for
safety quality and effectiveness before
they can be approved
covet 19 vaccines will only be approved
if clinical trials can show the benefits
to australians against covert 19.
to be approved it must pass a
process and the tga will not cut corners
a pharmaceutical company or sponsor must
submit a pre-application
the tga will look at this against
clinical data and the need for the
if the application meets the tga's
the sponsor can then apply to register
the vaccine for use in australia
at this point they must include a
significant amount of clinical and
to support the request
next the experts at the tga look at the
they can ask for more information to
fill any gaps
and they can also ask for independent
once the vaccine is fully evaluated the
tga will decide whether to provide
what they can for an initial
the vaccine can now be registered and be
supplied in australia
all registered vaccines are closely
monitored by the tga
who will respond to any safety issues
covert 19 vaccines
will be no different the cga will also
be checking all
the covert 19 batches before they are
released for rollout
the first approved vaccines will go to
until we all get vaccinated it's
important that we continue to be covert
by practicing good hygiene physical
distancing and getting tested
to learn more visit tga.gov.edu
How COVID-19 vaccines are being tested
Before a vaccine is registered for use, it is tested extensively during development and then in thousands of people. Testing first begins with laboratory research, then animal studies and finally human clinical trials. Clinical trials involve testing the vaccine in volunteers, and are conducted in phases.
Clinical trials must provide scientific evidence which demonstrates that the benefits of a vaccine greatly outweigh any risks.
Phase 1 clinical trials usually include a few dozen healthy adult volunteers. They focus primarily on establishing that the vaccine is safe, and also on demonstrating that the vaccine induces an immune response.
Phase 2 clinical trials have hundreds of volunteers, and can include specific groups for whom the new vaccine is intended. For example older adults, children or people with pre-existing medical conditions. These trials aim to test whether the vaccine causes an immune response and confirm that it is safe with minor side effects, such as a mild headache.
Phase 3 clinical trials include many thousands of participants. They aim to test whether a vaccine is effective in preventing people from getting the disease – in this case COVID-19. Phase 3 trials also thoroughly assess the vaccine for safety and side effects.
In a Phase 3 trial, researchers usually compare data between vaccinated people and those who received a placebo (like a salt water injection). They compare the frequency of infection, disease severity and any reported side effects between the two groups.
For COVID-19 vaccines, some of these phases have been combined. For example, in Phase 1 and 2 trials, results are analysed after the first few dozen volunteers are studied. The trial then proceeds in hundreds more. Some Phase 3 studies have started once preliminary data from phase 1and 2 trials are available. Having these ‘overlapping’ time frames has helped develop COVID-19 vaccines quickly, to make them available earlier to save lives.
How a vaccine is approved for use in Australia
Before a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous assessment and approval processes. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness.
The TGA is actively monitoring COVID-19 vaccine development both in Australia and around the world, and is also part of a network of international regulators that meet regularly to discuss the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
The TGA is engaging early with vaccine developers, undertaking a thorough and efficient review of vaccine candidates and discussing the application process. Early engagement will not affect the comprehensive review process that clinical trial results are subject to in Australia.