(CMR) The UK on Thursday (April 23) said that human trials for a potential vaccine for the coronavirus had begun.
Testing began earlier this week with approximately 800 volunteers enrolled to participate.
Some of the volunteers will be injected with the proposed coronavirus vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, while the others will be administered a meningitis vaccine.
The UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, speaking at the press conference, said it remained “uncertain science” and that “in normal times, reaching this stage would take years”.
“At the same time, we'll invest in manufacturing capability, so that if either of these vaccines safely works, then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanly possible,” added Hancock.
However, Professor of vaccinology Sarah Gilbert was a little more confident noting that she was 80 percent confident about the outcome of the vaccine.
“Personally, I have a high degree of confidence in this vaccine” said Gilbert who led the pre-clinical research.
Globally, there are more than 30 companies working to develop a vaccine for the virus.
One such entity is CureVac in Germany which recently announced human trials on its mRNA based vaccine.
While Takis Biotech, an Italian start-up has similarly said they would begin testing come September for their DNA-developed vaccine