Scientists have said that they will know by June or July whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine that a team at the University of Oxford works
Scientists have said that they will know by June or July whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine that a team at the University of Oxford are developing will have the desired effects, according to AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot.
AstraZeneca partnered with the University of Oxford for the development, manufacture and large-scale distribution of what could potentially be the first vaccine made for COVID-19, they have said that the UK would be “the priority” in terms of supply.
Speaking to Ian King Live, Mr Soriot said: “The group in Oxford is one of the best in the world. They have moved very quickly.”
“By June, July we’ll have a first idea already of the efficacy and safety of this vaccine and we’ll need to wait a few more months.”
“But by June, July we should have a pretty good idea already.”
“Production is already ongoing because we need to manufacture enough doses to do the clinical trials as you can imagine.”
“We’re going to be scaling up so that we are ready by Q4 [October] so we can supply a sufficient number, with the priority going to the UK population.”
Mr Soirot has also said: “Our commitment is for the period of the pandemic, we will be supplying the vaccine at cost.
“In the long run, if this virus does not disappear and turns into a similar virus as the flu, it would become a commercial vaccine just like the flu.”
The University of Oxford has said that both themselves and AstraZeneca have agreed to operate not-for-profit while the current pandemic is still ongoing, just the costs for production and distribution of the vaccine will be covered.
If trials are a success, the production of the COVID-19 will allow for rapid vaccination around the world, the University of Oxford has said.
The University’s Jenner Institute began developing the vaccine last week and have started human testing, with hundreds of volunteers applying to help and be part of the study which has received £20 million in funding from the government.
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.
The vaccine being developed in Oxford, and is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and is made from a harmless virus found in chimpanzees 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.
The partnership is the first partnership to be formed since the UK Government launched its dedicated Vaccines Taskforce two weeks ago.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the agreement was:
“hugely welcome news”.
He added: “The science is uncertain, and no vaccine may work, but this deal gives the UK the best chance we can of a breakthrough that could defeat this awful virus.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have reported that over 70 vaccines are in development for Covid-19 across the globe, which has now been contracted by over two million people and caused 128,886 fatalities worldwide.