A government-backed clinical trial in Oxford will begin testing vaccines in humans this Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
The government will provide an initial £20m to support the trial, co-ordinated through the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, Hancock said. “In normal times, reaching this stage would take years,” he said at today’s Downing Street coronavirus briefing.
“Nothing about the process is certain,” Hancock said, but vowed to back the research “to the hilt, and give them every resource they need to get the best possible chance of success as soon as possible”.
The “upside” to being the first country in the world to develop a vaccine would be “huge”, he said, and so the government would throw “everything at it”.