Five hundred and ten Britons will undergo the first Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine trial on April 23, according to the Daily Mail.
The vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was developed by Oxford University. It will be tested for six months and limited to a small number of people for public safety. After the jab, each volunteer must return between four and 11 times to the testing area.
Once the vaccine is deemed safe, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 can be mass-produced by the government for the general public.
Another vaccine will be tested in June, which is being developed by the Imperial College London.
The Oxford vaccine will stimulate the immune system of the participants using a common cold virus taken from chimpanzees. On the other hand, the Imperial vaccine will use liquid droplets to carry the genetic material into the volunteer's bloodstream.
Looking forward to the future
"It shouldn't be too disruptive to my life." These were the words uttered by Simeon Courtie, one of the 510 participants expecting side effects of the vaccine on Good Morning Britain in Oxfordshire.
Courtie told the Daily Mail that he is expecting to have fever and colds. "You might just get very mild side effects, but at worst maybe a fever for a couple of days and some aches and pains," he said.
But Courtie is not the only one thinking about the effects of the vaccine. "The trials start today but my first vaccination is next Wednesday. They think it will be something along the lines of having the flu," he said about his group.
They were screened at the Jenner Institute, which is near Oxford's Churchill Hospital. Each volunteer is between 18 to 55 years old and will be paid up to $800 compensation for their time and travel.
Courtie will return to the institute next Wednesday, describing himself as "just a very small part of this thing. However, Piers Morgan of Good Morning Britain said Courtie was brave. "Thank you for what you're doing, it's greatly appreciated," he said on the show.
Testing the vaccine's efficacy
Courtie will have a second vaccination one month from now because there are different groups for the first test. "It's a blind trial you don't know which group you're in," he said. He may come back once or twice, depending on who he is grouped with.
There will be two groups for the Oxford vaccine. One group will get the Oxford vaccine, while the other shall receive the vaccine that protects against meningitis. Participants do not know where they belong.
"There's no placebo group where you're given something like sugar water," he said. The side effects of the vaccine for meningitis are similar to the side effects of the Oxford vaccine, "so you don't know which you're on," Courtie added.
John Jukes, also a volunteer for the Oxford vaccine, said to the Daily Mail, "I don't see what I am doing as being heroic at all. I'm in a position to possibly be helpful to lots of people - that's an opportunity to grab.
A 36-year-old project manager from Witney, Oxfordshire, Jukes said, "If everybody shied away from helping to find a vaccine, then one might not be found."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, "this is a new disease. This is uncertain science, but I am certain that we will throw everything we've got at developing a vaccine."
The United Kingdom is pledging nearly $55M for the Oxford and London vaccines to enable scientists to conduct trials and fast-track the creation of the vaccine.