Oxford University researchers say the world can’t afford to wait for vaccines to go through trials before production starts.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the Oxford trial – and another at Imperial College London – will each get at least another £20m of public money.
An urgent appeal has been issued for volunteers to take part – with those who do so being offered up to £625. People coming forward must be aged 18 to 55 and in good health.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, from the Jenner Institute team at Oxford, told Sky News the time it will take to determine if the vaccine is effective is “heavily dependent” on how much virus transmission there is in the community.
If the volunteers do not come into contact with the virus, researchers cannot test if the vaccine has protected them.
“If there’s very low virus transmission in amongst all the volunteers that we’ve vaccinated, we just have to wait a long time to get the result,” Prof Gilbert said.
“So we’re looking at trying to test healthcare workers, in hospitals, people who are more likely to be exposed, so that we can get this result more quickly.”
The Jenner Institute team at Oxford is starting production before the trial is complete and wants to have about a million doses ready to be sent out by September.
“We really don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where the vaccine can show it’s safe, it gives strong immune responses and it protects people, but we haven’t got any doses to vaccinate anyone else with,” Prof Gilbert said.
Andrew Pollard, professor of infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, said producing very large numbers of doses is a “big technical hurdle” that is “not achievable within six months and may not be achievable within a year”.
But he added that for “smaller scale it could be possible with an effective vaccine to get there rather sooner”.
The Oxford vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is made from a harmless chimpanzee virus that has been genetically engineered to carry part of the coronavirus.
The technique has already been shown to generate strong immune responses in other diseases.
Deals have been done with three UK manufacturers, and several more abroad, to make the vaccine.
Prof Gilbert said she hoped “up to 500 people” would be part of the trial by the middle of May.
She said it would be a “randomised control trial” and half of the people would get a different vaccine.
“We will be monitoring them asking them to contact us if they have any symptoms of coronavirus and then we will find out who is getting infected,” she added.
The trial will involve healthy volunteers and take place in Oxford and Southampton, with three other sites to be added later.
Meanwhile, the Imperial College London team has been testing its vaccine on animals since February and clinical trials are expected to start in June.
Mr Hancock said developing a vaccine is an “uncertain science” but that the two teams were making “rapid progress” and would be backed “to the hilt”.
He said: “At the same time we’ll invest in manufacturing capability so if either of these vaccines safely works then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanely possible.”
However, he cautioned that “nothing about this process is certain”.
More than 70 vaccines are in development around the world but – alongside the US and China – the UK is one of the few involved in human trials.
Video: I Prophecy TB Joshua’s death – Prophet Nigel Gaisie – ghanapublisher.com
The founder and leader of Hill Chapel Worldwide Prophetic , Prophet Nigel Gaisie has linked a prophecy he gave during 31st December 2020 night vigil to the death of Nigerian popular prophet TB Joshua.
Video: Ghanaian Lady shot dead in Miami
A Ghanaian woman believed to be in her 30s has reportedly been shot and killed in the US.
The lady in question has been identified as Rachel Maame Adwoa Amuah.
She is reported to have been shot dead around 1:20am on the seventh-floor of a high rise building on the 698 NE First Avenue on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Miami Local 10 News reporter that the police after receiving a distress call in the area found the victim severely wounded around her neck from an apparent gunshot.
Reports say she was taken to the Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. She reportedly died shortly after.
A Miami Police officer named Kenia Fallat is quoted as saying “Right now, we have one person that has been detained and one possible witness that we are questioning at this time.”
Breaking: Billionaires Bill Gates and wife Melinda to get divorced after 27 years – ghanapublisher.com
In a message on the Microsoft founder’s Twitter account, the couple said they made the decision after “a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship”.
Gates, the fourth richest man in the world with a net worth of $130bn, married Melinda in January 1994.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” they said.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.
The couple, who married on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, have three children together – Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.
They live in an earth-sheltered mansion in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington.