Oxford scientists believe they have made a breakthrough in their quest for a Covid-19 vaccine. Here’s what you need to know.
Does it work?
The clinical trials have so far been successful, the Telegraph understands.
Researchers have shown that antibodies produced against sections of a genetic material called spike protein, usually found on the surface of the coronavirus, after infection are able to kill the virus when tested in the laboratory.
They want the human body to recognise and develop antibodies to the protein that would stop the virus from entering human cells.
Trials suggest that not only is this happening but also that the body is developing a crucial T-cell response as well, which is deemed crucial in the defence against coronavirus.
When will it be available?
AstraZeneca is on track to begin rolling out up to two billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine in September, if ongoing trials continue to prove successful.
Chief executive Pascal Soriot revealed last month that they were already starting to manufacture the vaccine.
Prof Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, has said the “best scenario” would see results from clinical trials in August and September and deliveries from October.
In May, Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, said Britain would be the first to get the vaccine and announced an extra £84 million in funding to accelerate research.
As the level of coronavirus in the UK subsided, scientists began trialling the drug in hospitals, where it was likely to be more prevalent.
They have also enrolled 5,000 volunteers in Brazil and others in South Africa.
Developers are expected to report their Phase I study results – which would show whether it is safe and whether or not it induces an immune response – within the next fortnight.
Source: The Telegraph 16th July 2020