Norwegian diplomat Erik Solheim, on Sunday, crossed fingers in hope at a report which stated that researchers at Oxford University are working on a vaccine for Coronavirus and it could be ready as early as September - far before the 2021 minimum timeframe earlier suggested.
Let’s cross our fingers!— Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim) April 12, 2020
A coronavirus vaccine could be ready for the public by September. Human trials are scheduled to start in a few weeks
Speaking to a UK publication, Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University under whom work on the vaccine is ongoing, has stated that she is confident of finding a vaccine and is likely to begin human trials within two weeks.
She said, "If one of those (places) turns out to have a high rate of virus transmission then we will get our efficacy results very quickly, so that is one strategy for reducing the time. Total lockdowns do make it harder. But we don't want the herd immunity either. We want them to be susceptible and exposed for the trials purely to test the efficacy."
The University has also opened up their COVID-19 vaccines for clinical trial recruitments as part of a “rapid vaccine response” to the coronavirus pandemic. The trial, a collaboration between the university’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group clinical teams, will recruit up to 510 volunteers, who will receive either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine or a control injection for comparison.
The researchers, working in an “unprecedented” vaccine development effort to prevent COVID-19, said they have started screening healthy volunteers (aged 18-55) from Friday for their upcoming trial in the Thames Valley Region of England.
“The Oxford team had exceptional experience of a rapid vaccine response, such as to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. This is an even greater challenge,” said Professor Adrian Hill, Director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford.
"Vaccines are being designed from scratch and progressed at an unprecedented rate. The upcoming trial will be critical for assessing the feasibility of vaccination against COVID-19 and could lead to early deployment,” he said.