Potential coronavirus vaccine developed at Oxford University is to be tested as part of human trials.
Clinical trials will start on Thursday with the help of 510 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. The vaccination uses a weakened version of a common cold virus with genes coding for the coronavirus's damaging weapon, its “spikes”. The vaccine uses the “spikes” against its self by raising antibodies that cling to them allowing the immune system to latch on and destroy the virus.
The trial will involve half the volunteers being administered with the vaccination and the other half a "control" vaccination which protects against sepsis and meningitis.
If the human trials are to be successful, millions of doses of vaccine would be available by September. Could this be the breakthrough we need to get this virus underhand and prevent more lives being lost and any more economic damage?
Mr Hancock the UK health secretary announced he was providing £20 million to the Oxford University team to help fund clinical trials, and a further £22.5 million going to researchers at Imperial College London. Mr Hancock stated the government was "throwing everything" at the research to find a vaccine.
Normally the development of vaccination would take at least 18 months, but the team of researchers led by Professor Sarah Gilbert at Oxford may have found a vaccine within nine months of the original outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“When this new virus emerged there was already work going on in Oxford on Mers coronavirus and vaccination was being trialled on humans,” Mr Hancock said.
If the vaccine trials are successful the government will start to invest in manufacturing capabilities to help make the vaccine available to the UK public as early as they can.
The government have stated that they will back every effort to find a vaccine and will provide any resource they need to make the resource and trials successful.
The UK will reap a gigantic economic windfall if it is to be the first to safely discover a working vaccine that could end the coronavirus spread and effectively save the world against COVID-19.
“The UK is at the forefront of the global effort. We’ve put more money than any other country into the global search for a vaccine. And for all the efforts around the world, two of the leading vaccine developments are taking place here."
Why did the government spend 42.5 million pounds trying to find a vaccine?
Simple, the UK's coronavirus death toll in hospitals to date is 17,337. The global death rate to date is 177,704 with 2,558,974 confirmed cases and this is rising.
With the continuous demand and shortage of ventilators and PPE, the best way to beat the coronavirus is through a vaccine.
Please do not take this potential vaccine as an excuse to break the social distancing rules.
Stay home, stay safe, protect the NHS and save lives.”