While COVID-19 in the UK has claimed more than 34,600 lives, Oxford University has developed a coronavirus vaccine that is already in the clinical trials. In this situation, a deal has been closed with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca which is working with Oxford University to provide 30 million doses of the vaccine by September and 100 million doses overall in case its efficacy is proven in the clinical trials.
The business secretary, Alok Sharma said that he has agreed to deposit another £84 million in the vaccine development fund in addition to the £47 million previously available to start the production of batches of vaccine after the success of the clinical trials.
He also pointed out that Imperial College London is also progressing towards the development of a vaccine for coronavirus but he is cautiously optimistic if the vaccine will be developed against the virus.
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As revealed by the Secretary, while there are no drugs available that are clinically proven to be effective against COVID-19, the six drugs specifically designed for this virus are in the clinical trials.
The vaccine being developed by the researchers from Imperial College London is expected to be in clinical trials from June. The trials for coronavirus vaccine began on April 23 which are done at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.
A task force was announced by Mr. Sharma last month that will work to unite different sectors of research and authorities to accelerate the procedure of the development of a vaccine. He is also positive that the UK will be the first to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.
The vaccine from Oxford University has entered the initial clinical trials and the participants in the first phase of the trial have been administered the vaccine. The team for the clinical trials is observing the progress of the vaccine in the participants.
Mr. Sharma while praising the efforts of Oxford University said the progress in the complicated trials is extraordinary. He also said that if the UK is successful in the development of an effective vaccine, it will not only be provided to the local population but the developing countries will also be given access to the vaccine at minimum cost.
While he is proud and hopeful about the coronavirus vaccine, he also advised the public to be cautiously optimistic since the vaccines might fail in any phase of the clinical trials. There is also a possibility that a vaccine is never developed against the virus.
Mr. Sharma also said that since there are no clinically proven effective drugs against the coronavirus, the researchers are collaborating with the government to find drug candidates for the virus. Concerning this, a program called Accord has been launched which focuses on identifying effective drugs for the treatment of coronavirus.
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He said that the six drugs in the clinical trials are expected to give positive results and if proven effective, the drugs will be launched into bigger trials.
The only hope for the world to return to somewhat normal life is the development of a vaccine for coronavirus. While the lockdown in the UK is being lifted in phases, the public is anticipating a vaccine to be developed as soon as possible.