Coronavirus: Over 100 Australians volunteer for COVID-19 vaccine trial

Over 100 Australians have volunteered to receive a dose of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, with the first injection scheduled for next week.

It's Australia's first human trial and volunteers from Brisbane and Melbourne will take part, 7 News reports.

The country's Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, says it's preferable a vaccine is manufactured locally as opposed to offshore.

"There will be a global scramble to be able to produce the vaccine, that's why it's important to do the capability study now, we look at what manufacturing capacity here, how we can ramp it up," Andrews said according to 7 News.

Along with this trial, Australian researchers have also been recruiting frontline healthcare workers to participate in a clinical trial for hydroxychloroquine, a drug which is used to treat and prevent malaria.

It's hoped it could be a preventative medication for the virus, rather than being taken once a person is infected.

The anti-malaria medication was recently lauded by US President Donald Trump, who claims he's been taking a daily dose of it for the past fortnight. This is despite recent studies that show the drug doesn't work against COVID-19 and could cause heart problems.

The human trials in Australia follow others from around the world. In the US, eight patients participated in biotechnology company Moderna's vaccine trial which reportedly resulted in promising early results.

The experimental vaccine was found to be safe and provoked a strong immune response in patients.

Further studies are being carried out on a wider range of people to see if the vaccine can work in the real world.