Charlotte Eykerman and Nanor Pontigian Opinion Editor & Science and tech editor, The Pawprint
According to the Government health agency in the UK, coronavirus vaccines could begin to be tested within the next month. They are going to begin trials on a new drug that was developed by Oxford University.
Due to the fast spread of the virus, Public Health England (PHE) and the Guardian has allowed human testing to start way earlier than usual, even before any animal tests have been completed. This is to accelerate the development process.
But, health agencies want the UK to start testing on animals first. They have confirmed that next week the process will start to quicken the pace PHE researchers, along with Liverpool and Bristol university, are attempting to create a replica of the COVID-19 to use during the testing process.
Head of the Jenner Institute at Oxford, professor Adrian Hill said, “We are conscious that a vaccine is needed as soon as possible and certainly by June-July when we expect a big peak in mortality. He continued, “This is not a normal situation. We will follow all standard trial safety requirements but as soon as we have a vaccine that’s working we anticipate there will be an accelerated pathway to get it deployed to save lives. The more vaccines we can provide the sooner the better.”
The director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Anthony Fauci said that he was expecting it to be 12 to 18 months before a successful vaccine is found and available worldwide.
Currently the Public Health England has been given $500,000 by the US Food and Drug Administration to help them financially with finding the vaccine. “The grant is part of the US government’s plans to help bolster the global response to the pandemic” PHE said.