Coronavirus Vaccine Could be Ready by September: Says Oxford Professor

One Professor from Oxford said that a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready before the autumn.

Sarah Gilbert is a vaccine professor at Oxford University and heads a research team to create a coronavirus vaccine that has infected more than 1,7 million people worldwide.

According to estimates from John Hopkins University, the global death toll of Covid-19 reached 100,000.

Professor Gilbert told The Times she was “80 per cent confident” the vaccine being developed by her team would be successful in protecting people against the disease.

She was quoted as saying:

“I think there’s a high chance that it will work based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine. It’s not just a hunch and as every week goes by we have more data to look at.”

Most experts have said a coronavirus vaccine could take up to 18 months to be developed and distributed globally, but Professor Gilbert wants to accelerate the clinical trial process by letting volunteers become infected naturally as soon as possible.

Professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Brendan Wren, said: “The Oxford vaccine group are among the most advanced groups in the world and have been working on vaccine biopreparedness for several years.

“This means that they can test and evaluate Covid-19 vaccine candidates rapidly (even in human volunteers). A strong vaccine candidate available by September would not be surprising.”

However, Professor Brendan warned that because the UK lacks manufacture capabilities, it might be “at the back of the queue” if it depends on other countries with manufacturing capacity, such as Germany, Belgium and France.

“Desperate times require desperate measures, so upscaling and manufacture would be justified before data is fully known,” he said.

“Even if the vaccine didn’t prove effective this would be a useful trial run for the manufacture of alternative Covid-19 vaccines and vaccines against other viral and bacterial diseases.”

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