COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Ready For Mass Production By October 2020, Says Oxford Scientist

“We would hope to have at least some doses that are ready to be used by September,” she said in an interview. “There won’t be enough for everywhere by then, but the more manufacturing we can do starting from now, then the more doses there will be.”

Volunteers to take part in the trial have been abundant, she said, and it’s no longer accepting new subjects.

Gilbert, whose research on vaccines began at the University of Oxford in 1994, was awarded a £2.2 million ($2.8 million) grant from the UK’s National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation in March to scale up her team’s efforts to move into Covid-19 vaccine research.

The group’s experimental immunization is among the first to enter clinical trials. The World Health Organization counts 70 vaccine candidates in development, with three others in human testing. They are from CanSino Biological Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology; Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and Moderna Inc. along with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Gilbert’s trial divides 510 participants into five groups that will be observed for about six months with the option for a follow-up visit about a year after entering the trial. One group will receive a second intramuscular shot of the vaccine four weeks after the initial immunization.

The research aims to determine the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine, named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. A vaccine against meningococcal disease will be given to participants who will be randomly chosen for control purposes.

The vaccine moves by training the immune system to identify and attack the coronavirus. The vaccine uses the same method as a vaccine Gilbert’s team earlier created for the related MERS coronavirus, which demonstrated great potential in animal and early-stage human testing.

The WHO is creating a platform for everybody creating Covid-19 vaccines to share their plans and preliminary findings, according to Gilbert.

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