UK volunteers ‘could receive first dose of Covid-19 trial vaccine within a week’

UK volunteers could be given the first dose of a potential coronavirus vaccine within the next week, researchers say.

Experts at the University of Oxford are working hard to develop a vaccine that could prevent people from getting Covid-19.

They hope to have a candidate ready for clinical trials soon, and as part of their preparations the team aims to have at least a million doses available by about September.

Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, who is leading the team said a vaccine could be available for use by the general public by the autumn.

However, she said there is always an unknown and scientists can never be sure that vaccines are going to work.

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Prof Gilbert explained previous comments in which she said she was 80% confident of the vaccine’s success.

She said: “Personally, I have a high degree of confidence.

“This is my view, because I’ve worked with this technology a lot, and I’ve worked on the Mers vaccine trials, and I’ve seen what that can do.

“And, I think, it has a very strong chance of working.”

Asked when the first dose of the vaccine might be delivered to a trial volunteer, Professor Andrew Pollard, chief Investigator on the study said it depended on when the last part of the testing from the manufacturing had concluded.

However, he added: “But it should be within the next week or so, but we’ll, we’ll confirm that as soon as we can.”

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