‘Human and animal trials for a British vaccine against the coronavirus are set to begin next week at the Government’s secret science base Porton Down.
Scientists will test the drug, made at Oxford University, on animals at the Wiltshire base before trialling on humans next month.
The Times reports that the Phase II trials will begin before the results of the animal trials are known, as the Crisis lurches into its next, dramatic phase.
However, experts have cautioned that a vaccine for Covid-19 – the illness caused by the novel Wuhan coronavirus – is not imminent.
Prof Robin Shattock, from Imperial College London, said that vaccines would not be made widely available until next year ‘at the earliest’, telling the BBC’s World at One yesterday: ‘The first part of testing is to check that it’s safe in humans in small numbers, and again induces the right sort of immune response.
‘That will take, even if we do things quickly, two to three months.’