Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trials will start this week

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Coronavirus vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford will be trialled on people from THURSDAY, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says

  • Mr Hancock said the a vaccine will be the best way to beat virus ‘in the long run’
  • Oxford scientists have genetically modified a common cold virus to make the jab
  • They will test the vaccine on up to 510 people aged between 18 and 55
  • Researchers hope to give people internal protection against COVID-19
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

A COVID-19 vaccine developed at the University of Oxford will be trialled on humans in the UK from Thursday this week.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock today said he was ‘throwing everything at’ Britain’s attempt to develop the first vaccine in the world.

The Government will give the scientists an extra £20million to help with their trials, Mr Hancock said, and a further £22.5m to a project at Imperial College London.

The Oxford vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 will be trialled on up to 510 people aged 18 to 55 in conjunction with University Hospital Southampton.

It is the first British-made vaccine to go into real-world trials and carries with it huge hopes that it will provide a key to getting out of lockdown and banishing COVID-19.

The virus has now infected more than 125,000 people and killed 17,339 in the UK and the UK is on course to end up one of the worst-hit nations in the world. 

Mr Hancock said developing vaccines is an ‘uncertain science’ which usually takes years but that manufacturing capacity will be ramped up in case the jab is a success and is suitable to roll out to the public.

Speaking at today’s daily Government briefing, the Health Secretary said: ‘In the long run the best way to defeat coronavirus is through a vaccine.

‘After all, 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 UK is at the forefront of a global effort. We’ve put more money than any other country into the global search for a vaccine and, for all the efforts around the world, two of the leading vaccine developments are taking place here at home at Oxford and Imperial [College London].

‘Both of these promising projects are making rapid progress and I’ve told the scientists leading them that we’ll do everything in our power to support.

‘First, I am today making £22.5million available to the Imperial project to support their phase two clinical trials… and for them to begin the work on subsequently a very large phase three trial.

‘Second, I am today making available £20million to the Oxford team to fund their clinical trials. The team have accelerated that trial process, working with the regulator, the MHRA, who have been absolutely brilliant, and as a result, I can announce that the vaccine from the Oxford project will be trialled in people from this Thursday. 

‘In normal times, reaching this stage would take years and I’m very proud of the work taken so far.’ 

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