UK – The first human trials in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine have begun in Oxford when two volunteers were injected. The two are the first of over 800 people recruited for the study.
Half of the volunteers will receive the Covid-19 vaccine, while the other half will receive a control vaccine that protects against meningitis but not coronavirus.
The trial is designed in the manner that the volunteers will not know which vaccine they are receiving but only the doctors.
“I’m a scientist, so I wanted to try to support the scientific process wherever I can,” said Elisa Granato, one of the two who received the injection.”
Prof. Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute said the vaccine was developed in under three months by a team at Oxford University.
“Personally I have a high degree of confidence in this vaccine,” said Prof. Gilbert.
How the vaccine works is that it is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) from chimpanzees that has been modified so it can grow in humans. The team at Oxford has already developed a vaccine against Mers, using the same approach and had promising results.