Clinical trials of a UK vaccine for COVID-19 will begin on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said
At today’s daily coronavirus press briefing from the government, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that a UK vaccine will be trialled on patient from this Thursday.
The vaccine – developed by the University of Oxford – will be tested on patients with COVID-19.
Mr Hancock told the government’s daily briefing that the Oxford trial and another from Imperial College London would be getting millions more of public money.
He said: “At the same time we’ll invest in manufacturing capability so if either of these vaccines safely works then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanely possible.”
Hancock says the work developing a vaccine is an “uncertain science” but that two of the leading vaccine developments – one at Oxford University and one at Imperial College London – are “making rapid progress”.
He pledges £22.5m going to Imperial to support their clinical trials, which will assess samples and begin work on a very large phase three trial.
And £20m is going to the Oxford team to fund their clinical trials.
Which will be welcomed news to Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute, who had previously said that the team needed increased fundraising to be able to accelerate development.
Professor Hill went on to say:
“There is no point in making a vaccine that you can’t scale up and may only get 100,000 doses for after a huge amount of investment.”
“You need a technology that allows you to make not millions but ideally billions of doses over a year.”
He declares that vaccine from the Oxford project “will be trialled in people from this Thursday”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have reported that over 70 vaccines are in development for Covid-19 worldwide.
This news comes after it was announced that Over 500 people have signed up to test a vaccine, developed by Oxford University, following trials on animals
The vaccine being developed in Oxford, and is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and is is made from a harmless chimpanzee virus that has been genetically engineered to carry part of the COVID-19 disease. The vaccine will be administered intramuscularly to healthy adult volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55.
At the moment, this is still just a trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine; Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser has said that it would be “very lucky” if a vaccine for COVID-19 was widely available within the next year.