Researchers at the University of Oxford are confident of making available coronavirus vaccine by September while scientists around the world have not provided any specific timeline. Sarah Gilbert, the lead researcher of the vaccine development programme, reportedly told a virtual conference on April 17 that her team is confident about the efficacy of ChAdOx1 vaccine.
ChAdOx1 is one of the four vaccines that have entered the clinical trial phase but the other three groups, two from the United States and one from China, are likely to take 12 to 18 months to mass-produce the vaccine. The Oxford vaccine group has claimed that it will able to provide one million doses of the vaccine by September 2019 after getting clinical results by May end.
The team had already been working on a plan for an unknown disease, named Disease X, which would have caused a pandemic. Gilbert said that 12 clinical trials have already been conducted against different diseases by using ChAdOx1 technology and it has shown strong immune response with a single dose.
Meanwhile, the UK government has launched a new Vaccine Taskforce to expedite and co-ordinate efforts to research and then produce a coronavirus vaccine. The task force is being led by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan van Tam.
“The UK is world-leading in developing vaccines. We are the biggest contributor to the global effort - and preparing to ensure we can manufacture vaccines here at home as soon as practically possible,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock in a statement.
The task force will support the discovery of potential coronavirus vaccines by working with the public and private sector and rapidly mobilising funding. It is also working closely with the Bioindustry Association, which has set up an industry-led group, to accelerate vaccine development and manufacturing.
“UK scientists are working as fast as they can to find a vaccine that fights coronavirus, saving and protecting people’s lives. We stand firmly behind them in their efforts,” said Business Secretary Alok Sharma in a statement.
(Representational Image: AP)