COVID-19: London College offers £625 for volunteers as vaccine trial begins


Though there are now around 150 development projects worldwide, the German and British plans are among only five clinical trials on humans which have been approved across the globe.

The team say they are seeking further philanthropic support to conduct parallel global trials to accelerate progress and ensure the vaccine is widely available globally, including in low and middle-income countries. A research team from the Jenner Institute, led by Sarah Gilbert - Professor of Vaccinology at University of Oxford - are now designing a vaccine for COVID-19, and are expected to begin human trials on Thursday. Infectious disease experts warn that a vaccine won't be available for 12 to 18 months, if ever, but while "we can never be certain that these vaccines will work", Gilbert said, "personally I think it has a very strong chance of working".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock today said he was "throwing everything at" Britain's attempt to develop the first vaccine in the world.

Speaking at the daily press briefing, Mr Hancock praised the "rapid progress" being made into vaccines by scientists at Oxford and Imperial College London. "This is a new disease, this is uncertain science, but I'm certain that we will throw everything we've got at developing a vaccine", he said.

The vaccine also contains the genetic sequence of the coronavirus' infamous surface spike protein, which is produced after vaccination and triggers an immune response, according to a statement released by researchers.

Hancock said the government is investing in manufacturing capability so, if it works, it can be produced in scale.

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Abbott also will be expanding its laboratory antibody testing to the detection of the antibody , IgM , in the near future. Locally, AMITA Health has partnered with Versiti blood centers to collect and deliver convalescent plasma .

"Those joining the trial will be playing a critical role in the global search for a vaccine that protects us all, not least frontline NHS workers, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions".

The health secretary, who has been at the forefront of the UK's response to the outbreak, also announced further United Kingdom government investment 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".

Half of volunteers in the study will receive either the COVID-19 vaccine and the other half will be given a licensed "control" vaccine against meningitis and sepsis (the conjugate MenACWY vaccine) as comparison.

About 84 per cent of COVID-19 deaths have taken place in hospitals, with the remainder in care homes, private residences and hospices, the ONS said.

In an interview with the London-based newspaper The Times earlier this month, Oxford researcher Sarah Gilbert suggested a vaccine could be ready as early as September if the clinical testing starting this week is successful.