United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharma, has revealed that clinical trials of a Coronavirus vaccine at Oxford University are progressing well. And if everything goes according to plan, 30 million doses of the vaccine for the UK citizens will be ready by September this year.
While briefing the Downing Street news conference on Sunday, Sharma said that the British government has committed more than £250 million towards COVID-19 vaccine development.
The speed at which Oxford University has designed and organized these complex trials is genuinely unprecedented. The first clinical trial of the Oxford vaccine is progressing well with all phase one participants having received their vaccine dose on schedule earlier this week.
Imperial College London is also making remarkable progress in the COVID-19 vaccine development, stated Sharma. Researchers at the Imperial College will begin clinical trials for their vaccine by 15 June.
The UK government has allocated £47 million to the vaccine programs at Oxford University and Imperial College London. £84 million will be disbursed to both vaccine programs in the coming weeks.
This new money will help mass-produce the Oxford University vaccine so that if current trials are successful we have dosages to start vaccinating the UK population straight away.
AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, has recently inked a global licensing agreement with Oxford University. This means AstraZeneca will ensure that 30 million vaccine doses are available in the UK by September. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will mass-produce a total of 100 million doses.
While the UK will be first to get access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the British government is also working to ensure that developing countries get the vaccine at the lowest possible cost, said Alok Sharma.
Besides, the UK’s first vaccine manufacturing innovation center will be inaugurated in 2021, a year ahead of schedule after the British government granted it an extra £93 million in financial assistance. Once operational, the innovation center will have enough production capacity to serve the entire UK population in just 6 months.
Via: Sky News