Human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed at Oxford University are to begin on Thursday, health secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
Speaking at the daily 10 Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock said the government was “throwing everything” at the vaccine drive and announced he was providing £20 million to the Oxford team to help fund their clinical trials, with a further £22.5 million going to researchers at Imperial College London.
Oxford vaccinology professor Sarah Gilbert has said that the inoculation being developed by her team could be ready for use as early as September, despite the search for an effective vaccine normally taking as long as 18 months.
Mr Hancock said: “The team have accelerated that trials process, working with the regulator the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency), who have been brilliant.
“As a result, I can announce that the vaccine from the Oxford project will be trialled in people from this Thursday.”