The first volunteers to take part in the Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial received their injections yesterday. The vaccine was developed in under 3 months by a team at the Jenner Institute. 800 people have been recruited for the trials. Half will receive the coronavirus vaccine while the other half will be given a meningitis vaccine as part of a control group.
Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, led the pre-clinical research.
“Personally I have a high degree of confidence in this vaccine,” she said. “Of course, we have to test it and get data from humans. We have to demonstrate it actually works and stops people getting infected with coronavirus before using the vaccine in the wider population.”
Prof Gilbert previously said she was “80% confident” the vaccine would work, but now prefers not to put a figure on it, saying simply she is “very optimistic” about its chances.