By Pepi Sappal • 21 April 2020 • 20:27
The University of Oxford will start trialling a Covid-19 vaccine on humans this Thursday, confirmed the UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is expected to be trialled on around 510 people between the ages 18 to 55.
During the coronavirus briefing today, Hancock stated that he was “throwing everything” at Britain’s attempt to develop the first vaccine in the world. Not only is he providing the University of Oxford’s scientists with an extra £20 million to fund their trials, but Imperial College London will also receive £22.5 million for their Covid-19 vaccine project.
“In the long run the best way to defeat coronavirus is through a vaccine,” stated Hancock. “The UK is at the forefront of a 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 at home at Oxford and Imperial. Both of these promising projects are making rapid progress and I’ve told the scientists leading them that we’ll do everything in our power to support them.”
The Oxford University trial will take approximately six months and is limited to a small number of people so scientists can assess whether it is safe and effective without using large amounts of resources, and without risking the health of too many ‘tested’ humans. “Developing vaccines is an uncertain science, which usually takes years,” added Hancock. However, he assured that manufacturing capacity will be ramped up if the vaccine is a success and suitable to be rolled out to the public.
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