Leads the race to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 and could have one ready this year.
OGN Daily has reported the good news about the promising vaccine development at Oxford University and the Jenner Institute on a number of occasions in the past few weeks. And it's good to know that everything is still looking very promising as Kate Bingham, chair of the UK vaccine taskforce, said she expected to have a vaccine “early next year” from one or more of the candidates, although it was possible the first vaccines might only “help alleviate the symptoms” so that people have a less serious bout of disease, rather than fully protecting them.
Oxford University is leading the world in developing a vaccine against Covid-19 and offers the best chance of having something protective against the virus as we go into winter, MPs have been told.
Asked whether the UK would have to face the winter without a vaccine, Bingham said the best chance lay with the vaccine being trialled by Prof Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University, which is ahead of the rest.
“I hope we can improve on those timelines and come to your rescue,” Gilbert told the science and technology committee but would not be drawn on how much sooner the vaccine might be ready.
Physical distancing had reduced the numbers of people getting infected in the UK, which was good news, she said, but made it harder to trial a vaccine so they were now also testing it in Brazil and South Africa, where the case numbers are high. Astra Zeneca, the company that has partnered with Oxford, is to start a trial with 30,000 people in the US.
Bingham said Gilbert’s team was a long way ahead of the field. “The Oxford study will have likely vaccinated all their efficacy subjects before any of the other vaccines actually start their big efficacy trials. So that just gives you a scale of how far ahead they are versus the other companies,” she said.