Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's blood will be used by medical researchers who are developing a vaccine for coronavirus after they won their battle with the illness.

The married couple were among the first high-profile individuals to contract COVID-19 - which infects the respiratory system and can be fatal - and they fell ill whilst in Australia where Tom Hanks was making his new movie, Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Elvis Presley biopic.

After going public with their diagnosis and keeping fans updated on their condition whilst in isolation Down Under, they made a full recovery and were allowed to return to their home in Los Angeles.

Upon arriving back in the US, Tom, 63, and Rita, 63, enrolled in a medical study to determine if their antibodies would be useful for scientists working on developing a vaccine and now the 'Saving Private Ryan' star has revealed that they have been approved to donate blood because they do ''carry the antibodies''.

Tom hopes if his and his wife's blood proves to be useful in the fight against coronavirus and has joked he's responsible for the creation of a ''Hank-ccine''.

Speaking on NPR podcast 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!', he said: ''We just found out that we do carry the antibodies.

''We have not only been approached; we have said, do you want our blood? Can we give plasma? And, in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on what I would like to call the Hank-ccine.''

The 'Forrest Gump' actor previously revealed that his producer-and-actress wife Rita suffered much worse coronavirus symptoms than he did and he was concerned for her health.

He said: ''Rita went through a tougher time than I did. She had a much-higher fever and she had some other symptoms. She lost her sense of taste and smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks. She was so nauseous, she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities. It lasted a while.''