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UK Coronavirus trials begin

The UK Government is ramping up efforts to return the country to normality by instigating human trials of a vaccine against the Coronavirus.

At the time of writing trials have already commenced as scientists from the University of Oxford have formulated a potential treatment to prevent individuals catching Covid-19.

The lead scientist behind the vaccine, Professor Sarah Gilbert, has suggested that the prospective treatment could be ready to use on the general public by the autumn of 2020. If successful the team expect upto one million doses could be made available by September this year. 

At this point, as of the end of April 2020, Professor Gilbert has suggested that she is "80 per cent" that the vaccine currently being trialled will be successful. She has been quoted as saying, "Personally, I have a high degree of confidence. It has a very strong chance of working.”

The Governments Chief Scientific Adviser has announced that in excess of 5,500 people have been enrolled in the UK's clinical trials programme.

He, Sir Patrick Vallance, told a press conference that developing a vaccine, any vaccine, was a “difficult, complicated process” which would take many months. He further added that there was, “a lot to do” before the UK could safely introduce the treatment to the wider population.

A Government taskforce is now in place to help coordinate the fight against Covid-19 and it is headed by Sir Patrick and Professor Jonathan Van-Tam. Other members of the taskforce include the pharmaceutical company's AstraZeneca and the Wellcome Trust.

Separately the Government has provided an additional £14 million to fund a further 21 coronavirus research projects. One such treatment intends to trial an antimalarial drug with the intent to reduce the number of people being admitted to hospital.

In total the Government has pledged £250 million towards finding a treatment that is effective against Covid-19.


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