Novavax's Nita Patel with a computer model showing the protein structure of a potential coronavirus vaccine at the lab in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in March. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Novavax began clinical trials of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus in Australia on Tuesday, per a statement from the Maryland-based biotechnology firm.

The state of play: 131 volunteers in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Brisbane will undergo injections as part of the study, the company's research chief Gregory Glenn said during a briefing, per Australian Associated Press.

  • "We are in parallel making doses, making vaccine in anticipation that we'll be able to show it's working and be able to start deploying it by the end of this year," he added.

Of note: Tests on animals indicated the vaccine is effective in low doses, according to Novavax.

How it works: "Novavax used genetic engineering to grow harmless copies of the coronavirus spike protein in giant vats of insect cells in a laboratory," AP reports. "Scientists extracted and purified the protein, and packaged it into virus-sized nanoparticles."

What's next: The results of this first phase of the trials are expected in July.

  • Novavax plans a second phase of the study in multiple countries including the U.S. if the first proves fruitful. This would also examine whether COVID-19 is reduced by the vaccine.

The big picture: There are at least 92 vaccines under development for COVID-19. 22 of these are experimental DNA- or RNA-based vaccines that provide the most hope for speedy development, per Axios' Alison Snyder and Eileen Drage O'Reilly.

By the numbers: COVID-19 has killed more than 346,000 people worldwide, including over 98,000 in the U.S. Almost 5.5 million have tested positive for the virus — over 1.6 million of whom are in the U.S.
Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities confirmed they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,224,253 — Total deaths: 692,679 — Total recoveries — 10,865,548Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,500 — Total deaths: 155,401 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Exclusive: Trump declines to praise John Lewis, citing inauguration snub

President Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” saying only that Lewis made a “big mistake” by not coming to his inauguration.

The big picture: Trump's comments were a glaring contrast with the praise Republicans and Democrats showered upon Lewis this week, and a default to personal grudges during a week of mourning for a civil rights hero.