AGENCIES, Berlin/London: Along with containment of coronavirus pandemic and treating those infected globally, there’s a frantic effort to find a vaccine that could work. At least 150 coronavirus vaccine development projects are in various stages of progress around the world.
Although, no firm timeline has been set, but there are promising indications that things are moving fast as clinical trials on humans have been approved in Germany and the programme launched in the UK. Experts have estimated that it will take at least 12 to 18 months to develop a new vaccine.
The German and British plans are among only five clinical trials on humans which have been approved across the globe.
In Britain, volunteers in a trial at the University of Oxford are set to be given on Thursday the first dose of a potential vaccine based on a virus found in chimpanzees.
German regulatory body PEI green-lighted the country’s first trials on human volunteers for a vaccine developed by German firm Biontech and US giant Pfizer.
The UK Oxford trial, run by the university’s Jenner Institute, will involve 510 volunteers aged between 18 and 55 in the first phase. The second phase could see the inclusion of volunteers who belonged to high-risk groups.
Research director Professor Sarah Gilbert estimated that it has around an 80 per cent chance of being successful. The institute aims to develop a million doses of the vaccine by September, so as to distribute it as quickly as possible after approval.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a vaccine was the only thing to return “normalcy” to the world, and called for development projects to be accelerated.