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Coronavirus vaccine could be available by September, says Oxford expert

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 April 2020, 23:28 IST

Almost 30 projects across the world try to produce a vaccine for Coronavirus soon, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, Sarah Gilbert, be of the opinion that that it could be accessible by September, calling for wide-reaching manufacture facilities to be in place shortly.

Sarah Gilbert, who restated the estimated availability by September on Monday, stated that clinical experiments at the university would get under way ‘quite soon’. It is imperative to get in operation production processes so that it can be made accessible extensively soon, she said.

“We need to start manufacturing large amounts of the vaccine. It is not uncommon for companies to start manufacturing a new vaccine before they really know for certain it works”, she told BBC Radio on Monday morning.

“No-one wants to be in a position where you have a vaccine which you have shown does work and then not have any of the vaccine to use. The sooner we start the quicker we’re going to get to the billion dose scale. That probably won’t be this year but if we don’t start we’re not going to get there next year either,” she added.

The university stated researchers are working “at an unprecedented rate” to make the vaccine accessible, proceeding with the process to screen 510 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 to experiment one known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The test has been accepted bu UK regulators and ethical reviewers.

Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, stated that “The Oxford team had exceptional experience of a rapid vaccine response, such as to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. This is an even greater challenge”.

“Vaccines are being designed from scratch and progressed at an unprecedented rate. The upcoming trial will be critical for assessing the feasibility of vaccination against COVID-19 and could lead to early deployment.”

Speaking to the Times last week Sarah Gilbert said she is 80% optimistic of its success,“based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine”. However, many industry specialist have an idea that the vaccine could take as much as 18 months to be developed and doled out world-wide.

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First published: 13 April 2020, 23:28 IST