- Researchers at Oxford University are carrying out clinical tests that could be completed in August.
Clinical trials of a vaccine to combat COVID-19, which are underway at the Oxford University, may be completed by August, a British government adviser said on Saturday.
That university started human tests last Thursday and experts hope for positive results by as early as next month, which will hopefully confirm that the vaccine achieves a robust immune response to the virus, according to government spokesman Sir John Bell, a member of the British government’s vaccine taskforce.
This research group is made up of experts from both the academic and business worlds, who are working jointly to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 ‘as soon as possible’ with the intention of then getting it into mass production.
“The question is whether the vaccine will be effective,” according to Bell, noting that this will only be known once a “significant number” of people have received the dose.
“So we will not really know until May, but if things continue as they are, and if it is effective, then I think it is reasonable to forecast that we could complete the tests by mid-August,” he said.
“If we see evidence of a strong immune response in mid-to-late May,” then all will be well, with the next phase then being the production of billions of doses.
Bell spoke of the vaccine at Saturday’s Downing Street Press Conference, after revealing that some hospitals may be without protective equipment (PPE) this weekend for healthcare providers, who care for patients with COVID-19.
Given the intense criticism that the British Government is receiving, the Health Minister, Matt Hancock, yesterday encouraged UK companies to come forward with offers to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE), since the “high global demand” makes it difficult to obtain the necessary resources elsewhere.