The race is on to find a vaccine for Covid-19 and two of Britain’s most prestigious institutions, Oxford University and Imperial College London are reportedly making "good" progress.
Only a handful of vaccines are ready to undergo human trials and one of them is being manufactured by the British Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in conjunction with Oxford University.
“Our hope is that, by joining forces, we can accelerate the globalisation of a vaccine to combat the virus and protect people from the deadliest pandemic in a generation,” said AstraZeneca Chief Executive, Pascal Soriot.
A team of British Scientists dosed the first volunteers with the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine earlier this month and are doing well, according to Companies Minister, Alok Sharma.
"In order to be able to overcome this disease, we need to find a safe and working vaccine. Last month, I announced a group in charge of coordinating the efforts of the Government, Academia and Industry to find a vaccine,” he said.
The Government has invested €53 million in vaccination programs at Oxford University and Imperial College, and has reportedly promised another €95 million to help speed up the process.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford University partnership is reportedly hoping to produce 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2020.
Governments, Drugmakers and Researchers are working on around 100 Covid-19 vaccines and Industry experts say it will likely take more than than a year to develop one that’s successful, but that’s much faster than the average development time of 5-7 years.
India's Serum Institute, which is the world's largest bulk manufacturer of vaccines, has already offered to produce millions of doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University shot.
It's known as a recombinant viral vector vaccine, which uses a weakened version of the common-cold virus spiked with proteins from coronavirus to generate a response from the body’s immune system.
Other drugmakers testing possible COVID-19 vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.