A potential coronavirus vaccine will be trialled on people from Thursday, the UK Government’s health secretary has said.
Matt Hancock confirmed a team of scientists have been developing the vaccine at the University of Oxford.
“In the long run the best way to defeat coronavirus is through a vaccine,” he told the Downing Street press briefing.
“After all this is a new disease, this is uncertain science, but I am certain we will throw everything we’ve got at developing a vaccine.”
He continued: “I can announce that the vaccine from the Oxford project will be trialled in people from this Thursday.
“In normal times reaching this stage would take years and I’m very proud of the work taken so far.”
Hancock was announcing funding for two of the leading vaccine development projects, the one being undertaken at Oxford and another at Imperial College London, which he said were making “rapid progress”.
The project at Imperial will receive £22.5m to support its phase two clinical trials and the Oxford team will be granted £20m to fund its clinical trials.
He added: “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.”