Oxford Vaccine chief reveals the real timescale for a coronavirus jab

21 July 2020, 09:12 | Updated: 21 July 2020, 09:46

By Adrian Sherling

The chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial told LBC that newspaper reports that we will have a coronavirus vaccine by Christmas are optimistic.

Early trials of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford have found it is safe and appears to provide double protection against the virus.

The front pages of the papers proclaimed that we'd have a vaccine by the end of the year.

But Andrew Pollard warned that there is still a long way to go to prove that this is a working vaccine.

Nick Ferrari heard about the real timescale of the Oxford vaccine
Nick Ferrari heard about the real timescale of the Oxford vaccine. Picture: LBC / PA

He said: "I think it's extremely difficult to make absolute predictions on timing.

"That's because in order to demonstrate whether the vaccine protects, we have to have cases accrue in the clinical trials - hopefully in the control group of those who don't get the coronavirus vaccine rather than those who are vaccinated and we hope protected.

"It depends entirely on how much the vaccine transmits over the months ahead. Here in the UK it's relatively quiet at the moment with only a few small outbreaks occurring.

"That could change and we'd get an answer quicker, but obviously that's not good news for people who get the disease if that happens."

Professor Pollard said the overseas sites for the trial in places such as Brazil and South Africa may allow them to get a quicker answer on whether it is a viable vaccine.

Watch his full interview at the top of the page.