Oxford University scientists who have already begun testing a potential coronavirus vaccine in humans say they believe that it might be available as early as September. The vaccine, which is being developed by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, began clinical trials last week.
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, said “Personally I have a high degree of confidence about this vaccine because it’s technology that I’ve used before.” Work on a potential vaccine began in January, and success has previously been seen in using a similar vaccine on a previous coronavirus strand. The vaccine has also reportedly seen success in monkeys, signaling the promising potential for humans.
The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus, or adenovirus, from chimpanzees and has been “genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans,” according to a statement from the University Hospital Southampton, which is also helping to conduct the trial. There currently are no approved vaccines or specific treatments for COVID-19, which as of Wednesday had sickened more than 3.1 million people worldwide, and resulted in over 217,000 deaths.