The devastating Coronavirus has infected over 1,400,000 people all over the world and still, there is no vaccine available to treat COVID-19 patients. Even though researchers have mentioned that any vaccine for the new Coronavirus cannot be made available by the end of this year, UK scientists have claimed a vaccine will be ready as early as Autumn which means around December this year.
Researchers from Oxford University are confident that within the next eight months they can find a cure for the disease which has killed over 88,000 people.
Vaccine for Coronavirus
This new revelation disapproved previous claims made by other researchers that any COVID-19 vaccine will take about 18 months to be produced. Researchers at Oxford University warned that the process to create a vaccine will be challenging if the outbreak peaks before a potential cure is ready for trials.
The Oxford researchers said with no tests available to identify who has already been infected with Coronavirus, it could be difficult to find unexposed people to participate in the trial. However, as per the university over 500 volunteers aged between 18 and 55 have signed up to the trial and will begin tests toward the end of the month.
As of now, UK has reported over 7,000 death and 61,000 infected cases. However, as per a modelling by researchers at the University of Washington, the UK will hit its peak on April 17.
Oxford research on Coronavirus vaccine
The researchers told The Telegraph: "Conducting trials after the peak subsides presents another problem, because so many people will have developed a natural immunity by then, and the amount of transmission will have dropped so that those who are still not immune will take longer to be exposed to the virus."
They also mentioned that at this point of time the team is struggling to get funding to scale-up production of the potential drug against the Coronavirus.
The volunteers will take part in the research for six months, during which they will attend appointments at the Oxford Vaccine Centre for screening and vaccination. The participants will be injected with either the new COVID-19 vaccine or a control jab. The Oxford University shared its plans to find a vaccine after the first group of Chinese volunteers who received potential coronavirus vaccination in March said to be healthy after finishing 14 days of quarantine.
Out of them, 14 participants in the vaccine trial returned home recently, while a total of 18 out of the 108 participants have completed their medical observation as of Thursday. The team of Chinese researchers said that they will monitor all these participants for another six months and take their blood samples to examine the antibodies. The scientists have also mentioned that if they find effective results, then they would like to conduct the same tests outside China.
More Coronavirus Vaccines and treatments
Several biotech companies have started trials of promising vaccines and treatment. A Maryland-based biotech company, Novavax, said it would begin human trials in Australia in mid-May for its vaccine candidate. On Wednesday, April 8, the stem-cell company Mesoblast revealed that it was starting a 240-patient clinical trial which would assess whether cells derived from bone marrow could help patients who developed the immune reaction to the coronavirus.
While a vaccine made by the biotech company Moderna is already in a clinical trial in the US, Inovio Pharmaceuticals developed another potential vaccine which was injected into the first adult volunteers on Monday, April 6. Johnson & Johnson expects to start clinical trials in September as it has received around $500 million partnership via a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Experimental vaccines created by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston are also waiting for permission from the FDA to begin the human trial.