Research. Volunteer scientists process samples taken from people tested for the novel coronavirus at a laboratory in Cheshire, northern England, last week. AFP PHOTO
By Tonny Abet
Researchers at Oxford University in United Kingdom who are developing a vaccine against coronavirus have said the first batch for public health use could be ready by September.
“With an emergency approval from
regulators, the first few million doses of the vaccine could be
available by September,” the researchers were quoted yesterday by New
York Times, an American-based news agency, to have said.
The vaccine is being developed by Jenner Institute, a research facility at the university.
The initial trial to determine effectiveness of the vaccine was done on six monkeys by the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in America.
According to the news agency, the institute is conducting mass clinical trials with 6,000 volunteers to determine the efficacy and safety of the vaccine against Covid-19.
Merck, a science and technology company that is working with the institute to execute the project, said they were working hard to quicken the processes to make the life-saving vaccine available.
“With patients enrolled for clinical trials for this vaccine, rapid development of the large-scale manufacturing process is a critical step in quickly and safely delivering it from the lab to patients,” said the press report Daily Monitor saw yesterday on the company’s website.
The Covid-19 vaccine candidate dubbed ChAdOx1 nCoV-19–Oxford
vaccine- was initially tested in monkeys and the results were
successful, according to the researchers.
After being inoculated with one dose of Oxford vaccine, the monkeys were exposed to heavy quantities of coronavirus but 28 days later, all the monkeys were healthy.
The monkeys that were not vaccinated all got sickened by the deadly virus, according to researchers.
Dr Lisa Nelson, the country director of Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) Uganda, however, said the vaccines against Covid-19 may not be coming out very soon.
“Most experts that I have met estimate that the vaccine is 12 to 18 months away,” Dr Lisa said.
She said there are around six vaccine candidates that are in human clinical trials.
Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Health, said scientists in the country were also planning to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. She, however, said the country would use the vaccines developed from foreign countries if they are ready.
“From history, for any viral infection, the best way is to prevent it. We immunise people so that when the disease comes, their body is prepared to fight back,” Dr Atwine said. “Our scientists have been working to see the possibility of developing a vaccine [against Covid-19]. The process of developing a vaccine is, however, very long,” she added.