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'A million doses could be ready by September' if Oxford vaccine team successful

26 April 2020 4:27 PM
Tags:
Oxford University
UK
coronavirus vaccine
COVID-19
human trials

The Oxford University team's experimental coronavirus vaccine is in the process of being trialled on humans.

The first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine, has begun in Oxford.

The vaccine was developed in under three months with the Oxford University research team led by Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute.

Gilbert has said it was their ongoing research into "Disease X" which allowed them to pivot so quickly to Covid-19. (Disease X being an "as yet unknown infectious agent earmarked as a potential pandemic in the making")

On Weekend Breakfast, Africa Melane gets an update from UK correspondent Gavin Grey.

Picture: 123rf.com

Professor Gilbert says she's 80% confident this vaccine will work which, for a scientist like her who is modest, is a very high figure.

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

The Prime Minister [Boris Johnson], who we believe now to be starting to get back to work on Monday, he is also now advocating the great support behind this particular scheme.

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

Half of the volunteers recruited for the trial will receive the vaccine and half a control vaccine which protects against meningitis but not against coronavirus, says Grey.

Volunteers will not know which vaccine they're getting, but the doctors will.

They're after about 5,000 volunteers in the long run that will have no age limit.

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

The problem in the UK at the moment is actually making sure that those with the vaccine, come into contact with people with coronavirus. That may sound counter-intuitive but of course it is a very real issue. If the people with the vaccine don't come into contact with those with coronavirus, we won't know it's working.

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

The Oxford team are also considering a vaccine trial in Africa, probably Kenya where the rates of transmission are growing from a lower base. So, it could involve a link to Africa but a great deal of store is being held in hope that this vaccine will prove effective.

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

Listen to a summary of the latest news from Europe and the UK below: (scroll to 6:58 for the vaccine update)


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'A million doses could be ready by September' if Oxford vaccine team successful


26 April 2020 4:27 PM
Tags:
Oxford University
UK
coronavirus vaccine
COVID-19
human trials

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