The world could know within weeks if a coronavirus vaccine is imminent.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says the first results from the clinical trials of several different candidates should be known by late July.
"That would be a good time for us to tell whether any of the candidate molecules are looking promising," he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
The government is examining Australia's capacity to manufacture vaccines if a working one is found.
At the moment, it would be able to make some of those being trialled but not others, Professor Murphy said on Monday.