Since December 2019, soon after the Coronavirus emerged in China, researchers from all around the world including biotech companies joined the race to find a cure. While there are some clinical trials taking place in several parts of the globe, the volunteers in the UK are expected to be given the first dose of a potential COVID-19 vaccine within the next week.
As per the researchers at the University of Oxford, they are trying to develop a vaccine for Coronavirus. The experts hope that they will have a candidate ready for the clinical trial soon. As part of their preparations, the team of Oxford scientists aim to have at least a million doses available by about September.
Coronavirus vaccine by Oxford University
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 2020. She also mentioned that scientists can never be sure that the potential vaccines are going to work.
Previously she explained that she was 80 percent confident of the vaccine's success. Gilbert said that "Personally, I have a high degree of confidence. This is my view, because I've worked with this technology a lot, and I've worked on the Mers vaccine trials, and I've seen what that can do. And, I think, it has a very strong chance of working."
Earlier, Oxford University researchers warned that the process to create a vaccine will be challenging if the outbreak peaks before a potential cure are 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.
Oxford vaccine trial
In response to a question- when the vaccine will be given to the trial participants- the Chief Investigator on the study, Professor Andrew Pollard said that it depends on when the last part of the testing from the manufacturing had concluded but in this case "It will be within the next week or so, but we will confirm that as soon as we can."
In terms of a vaccine which will be used on a mass scale, the researchers said that it is important to make sure that it can be manufactured at the required pace. The director of the Jenner Institute at the university, Professor Adrian Hill said the Oxford scientists probably has the "most ambitious scale-up" programme of all the groups working on a vaccine.
As reported, Prof Hill said, "We're now moving to the point where instead of doing maybe a three-litre manufacturing run, we're up to 50 litres will go to 100, 200, maybe even 2000. And we're talking to manufacturers who can provide that sort of manufacturing service."
In addition, he also mentioned that the aim is to have at least a million doses by September, once the vaccine efficacy results are revealed and then "Move even faster from there because it's pretty clear the world is going to need hundreds of millions of doses, ideally by the end of this year to end this pandemic, to let us out of lockdown."