United Kingdom ramps up vaccine research, manufacturing spending


Researchers are screening participants for the trial of Professor Shattock's vaccine, and aim to begin clinical trials in June at the NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility.

AstraZeneca Plc will make as many as 30 million doses of vaccine available to the U.K.by September and has committed to delivering 100 million doses this year.

"These results support the ongoing clinical trial of the vaccine in humans, the results of which are eagerly awaited", Ward said.

An experimental coronavirus vaccine will go into production this summer at a "rapid deployment facility" before clinical trials have established whether the shots are safe and protect against the infection.

Asked about the progress of the human trials, Hill said he and his team "are not going to give a running commentary" but added, "You can conclude that if the trial is still running - as it certainly is - that would mean there have been no major upsets".

Experts have commended the study as encouraging signs for a vaccine now undergoing human trials.

Oxford has partnered with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacturing and possible distribution of the vaccine.

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"The UK will be first to get access but we can also ensure that in addition to supporting people here in the UK we're able to make the vaccine available to developing countries at the lowest possible cost", he told the daily No 10 press briefing.

He said so far the government had invested £47 million in the Oxford and Imperial vaccine programmes, and announced a further £84m in new funding "to help accelerate their work".

"The centre, which is already under construction, will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire United Kingdom population in as little as six months", Sharma announced at the No 10 daily press conference, where a technical glitch meant journalists' questions were read out loud because they were unable to ask them in person via Zoom.

However, Mr Sharma warned there are "no certainties".

Johnson also wrote an article in the Mail On Sunday, saying: "I understand people will feel frustrated with some of the new rules".

He acknowledged public difficulties in adapting to the social distancing measures still in place, after the partial lifting of the lockdown in England.

"I recognise what we are now asking is more complex than simply staying at home, but this is a complex problem and we need to trust in the good sense of the British people".