An Oxford professor has claimed that a vaccine for Covid-19 could be ready by autumn.
Sarah Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford and leads a team of researchers in developing a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has so far infected more than 1.7 million worldwide. Professor Gilbert told The Times she was “80 per cent confident” the vaccine being developed by her team would be successful in protecting people against the disease. She was quoted as saying: “I think there’s a high chance that it will work based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine. It’s not just a hunch and as every week goes by we have more data to look at.”
Most experts have said a coronavirus vaccine could take up to 18 months to be developed and distributed globally, but Professor Gilbert wants to accelerate the clinical trial process by letting volunteers become infected naturally as soon as possible. She said volunteers from places that have no imposed lockdown measures would produce more efficient results.
Developing a working vaccine by September was “just about possible if everything goes perfectly”, added Professor Gilbert, but she warned that nobody could promise it would work.
The government is poised to spend millions of pounds for a viable vaccine to have it ready for use and the team is in talks with the government about starting production of the vaccine before the final results become available.
Other experts have expressed confidence in Professor Gilbert’s claim, and said the Oxford team is highly advanced.