Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Covid-19: Human trials of coronavirus vaccine in UK start tomorrow

A woman is seen wearing a protective face mask, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, London, Britain. (Photo:Reuters)

Human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine will start in the UK on Thursday, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday as he added a word of caution that "nothing about this process is certain".
In a press briefing on Tuesday, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that the vaccine from the Oxford trial will be tested in people from this Thursday.
The vaccine is being developed by scientists at the University of Oxford who believe there is an 80 per cent chance of success.
Matt Hancock also promised £20million of public money for each of the vaccine development projects. Another institute trying to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 is the Imperial College London.
The Jenner Institute team at Oxford though is planning production of the vaccine even before the trial is complete so that at least a million doses are ready by September.
Social distancing and a vaccine are the only two ways to deal with Covid-19 which has led to lockdown extensions across the world.
“The best way to defeat coronavirus is through a vaccine, after all this is a new disease, this is uncertain science, but I am certain we will throw everything we’ve got at developing a vaccine,” Matt Hancock said.
The UK health minister said they are also investing in manufacturing capability, “so if either of these vaccines safely works, then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanly possible."
Chairman of British Medical Association Dr Chaand Nagpaul welcomed the announcement and said, “It’s clearly positive that trials are commencing for coronavirus vaccine as having an effective vaccine is the best way to eradicate it. I hope that there is co-operation with research across the world- to our collective efforts to develop a vaccine as soon as possible for it benefits all.”

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