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Australia’s hunt for COVID-19 vaccine receives $1 million boost

Australia’s hunt for COVID-19 vaccine receives $1 million boost from Tabcorp Lotteries business

3 April 2020

Tabcorp is proud to announce that our Lotteries business will donate $1 million from unclaimed prize money to help accelerate Australian research into a COVID-19 vaccine.

The donation will be made to The University of Queensland’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, one of six research facilities worldwide tasked with developing a vaccine against COVID-19 by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The donation from our Queensland lottery business Golden Casket has been funded from unclaimed prize money which, under Queensland regulations, can be returned to players, such as through bonus draws, promotions and contributions to the community.

Managing Director Lotteries and Keno, Sue van der Merwe, said the $1 million donation was able to be made thanks to our lottery players.

“Identifying a safe and effective vaccine is critical and we want to do what we can to assist the team at The University of Queensland who are working tirelessly on finding a potentially life-saving vaccine,” she said.

“The donation is coming from Golden Casket unclaimed prize money accumulated over the past seven years and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of those who participate in lottery games.

From funding medical research to hospital infrastructure, the Tabcorp lotteries business has a long track record of contributing to health initiatives and this donation will see that continue.”

At the current rate of research and development, it is expected to take up to 18 months before a vaccine is available to the public. However, with additional funding, The University of Queensland project director Dr Trent Munro said the vaccine could be ready earlier.

“This gift will help to significantly accelerate vaccine development efforts – allowing us to move more activities to happen in parallel – and we are incredibly grateful for the support,” he said.

“Additional funding means we can act now to work towards developing a safe and effective vaccine as quickly as we can to protect vulnerable people, including the elderly and healthcare workers."

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