There are several Coronavirus vaccine and treatment trials currently underway in all around the world but experts are still waiting for a breakthrough. Meanwhile, UK's health secretary has announced that a potential COVID-19 vaccine, developed by University of Oxford researchers will enter the human trials as early as Thursday, April 23.
As per the reports, the government will provide £20 million to the team of scientists at the University of Oxford and a further £22.5 million to Imperial College, where the researchers are also working on the vaccine for Coronavirus. It should be noted that the team of Oxford scientists aim to have at least a million doses available by about September 2020. The team lead, Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University believes that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for use by the general public before December this year.
University of Oxford vaccine trial
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock have praised both the teams from Imperial College and the University of Oxford for making "rapid progress." He also said that the UK will throw "everything we've got" at developing a vaccine for the deadly Coronavirus, which has affected around 130,100 people and killed over 17,000 Britons.
Hancock said that the UK government would invest in manufacturing capabilities so that if the vaccine was successful it could be available for British people "as soon as humanly possible." In addition, he also said,
We are going to back them to the hilt and give them every resource that they need to get the best possible chance of success as soon as possible. The upside of being the first country in the world to develop a successful vaccine is so huge that I am throwing everything at it.
The clinical trial on Thursday
Previously, the Oxford researchers said with no tests available to identify who has already been infected with novel Coronavirus, it could be difficult to find unexposed people to participate in the trial. However, as per the university over 500 volunteers have signed up to the trial.
It should be noted that the University of Oxford's project is a collaboration between the university's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group. This project opened the recruitment for the clinical trials which includes healthy adults between 18 and 55 at the end of the March. During the daily briefing, health secretary clearly mentioned that the trial will now begin as soon as this Thursday.
Earlier, Adrian Hill, director of Oxford University's Jenner Institute, said that the researchers at Oxford had the exceptional experience of rapid vaccine response, such as to the Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2014. In addition, he said "Vaccines are being designed from scratch and progressed at an unprecedented rate. The upcoming trial will be critical for assessing the feasibility of vaccination against COVID-19 and could lead to early deployment."