Oxford University scientists are to commence human trials next week for a coronavirus vaccine.
According to the Daily Mail on Wednesday, 510 people, between the ages of 18 and 55, have been recruited to take part in the trial.
The subjects will receive either the vaccine developed at the university, or a control injection for comparison.
“We are going into human trials next week. We have tested the vaccine in several different animal species,” says Professor Adrian Hill. “We have taken a fairly cautious approach, but a rapid one to assess the vaccine that we are developing.”
The vaccine may be ready as soon as September, Dr. Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford from the same team, told The Times on Saturday. She said she was “80 percent confident” that the vaccine being developed by her team of researchers would work and would become available to the general public in about five months.
She also said the team is in talks with the British government to begin production as soon as possible. “We don’t want to get to later this year and discover we have a highly effective vaccine and we haven’t got any vaccine to use,” she said.
Two groups in the United States and one in China have already commenced human trials.
Over 60 potential vaccine candidates and treatments for coronavirus are being developed in labs around the world, most in pre-clinical stages. US company Moderna began clinical trials last month.
In Israel, scientists at the state-funded Migal Galilee Research Institute have said that their vaccine for coronavirus was on track to be ready for testing within “a few weeks” though it won’t be available for months because of the lengthy and sometimes bureaucratic testing and approval process.