Beaking News:–Coronavirus vaccine developed at Oxford University are to begin on Thursday, United Kingdom health secretary Matt Hancock has announced today(21).
Speaking at the daily 10 Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock announced he was providing £20 million to the Oxford team to help fund their clinical trials, with a further £22.5 million going to researchers at Imperial College London.
Oxford vaccinology professor Sarah Gilbert has said that the inoculation being developed by her team could be ready for use as early as September.
Mr Hancock said: “The team have accelerated that trials process, working with the regulator the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who have been brilliant.”
“As a result, I can announce that the vaccine from the Oxford project will be trialled in people from this Thursday.”
Mr Hancock said: “In normal times reaching this stage would take years and I’m very proud of the work undertaken so far.
He said that the government will now invest in manufacturing capability so that if either the Oxford or Imperial vaccine works safely, it will be made available to the UK public “as early as humanly possible”.
He cautioned: “Nothing about this process is certain. Vaccine development is a matter of trial and error and trial again. That’s the nature of how vaccines are developed.”
He said he had told Prof Gilbert and Imperial’s Prof Robin Shattock that the government will “back them to the hilt and give them every resource they need to give them the best possible chance of success as soon as possible”.
Mr Hancock made clear that he believes the UK stands to reap a gigantic economic benefit if it is the first to reach the holy grail of a vaccine which could protect the whole world against Covid-19.
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