Leading scientists from Oxford University said that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready as early as autumn. The researchers are confident that they can roll make the vaccine for the incurable and deadly diseases within the next eight months.
The recent statement from Oxford University means that the 'best case scenario' is much earlier than what was previously advertised. According to Britain's chief scientific adviser, it would be at least 2021 before the coronavirus vaccine will be ready.
Race to a cure
As one of the hundreds of teams worldwide racing to develop a cure for COVID-19, the team from Oxford University warned that it will be 'challenging' if the outbreak peaks before a vaccination is ready for trials.
Researchers say that with no tests available to determine the people who have already been infected it would not be easy to look for unexposed individuals to take part in the trial. As of the moment, there are already more than volunteers from ages 18 to 55 who have signed up to the test trial and will begin tests towards the end of the month.
It is predicted by the University of Washington's modeling that Britain will hit its peak by April 17. So far the coronavirus has already infected 55,000 and killed 7,100 in the UK.
"The best-case scenario is that by the autumn of 2020 we have the results about the effectiveness of the vaccine from a phase III trial and the ability to manufacture large amounts of the vaccine," says the Oxford team in an interview with The Telegraph.
Indeed, their time frame in developing the vaccine was 'highly ambitious' as many things could get in the way of the target.
For six months, the trial participants will take part in the study. During that time, they will attend activities at the Oxford Vaccine Centre for screening and vaccination. Either a new COVID-19 vaccine or a control jab will be injected into them.
Previously, UK's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance said that a vaccine was 12 to 18 months away from being developed and distributed to the masses.
China starts its clinical trial for coronavirus vaccine
China launched the clinical trials for its first potential coronavirus vaccine on March 17. The coronavirus vaccine was developed by Chen Wei, China's top military bio-welfare expert, her team.
The three groups of volunteers which include 108 healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 were injected with different amounts of vaccine, according to a report from the Chinese media. They were isolated at the Wuhan Special Service Health Centre for monitoring. The press reported that volunteers will finish the medical observation on different days depending on when they were injected.
The researchers are likely to test the vaccine internationally if the first trial proceeded smoothly. Chen Wei told the press, " if the initial results prove the vaccine is safe and produces [desired] effects, we will continue to test its effectiveness overseas through international cooperation if the global epidemic continues to spread."
China Daily reports that the results of the clinical trial will be published this April.
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