Vaccine professor warns Covid jab won't be available until next year

18 May 2020, 08:16

By Adrian Sherling

A doctor working on the coronavirus vaccine has told LBC the jab is unlikely to be ready by September.

Ministers say plans are in place to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine to 30 million people in the UK by September if human trials are successful.

Researchers at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London and working on a project to create a vaccine for the disease.

And Dr Katrina Pollock, the principal investigator for the COVID-19 vaccine trials at Imperial College London, told LBC that was a very ambitious timeline.

She said: "There's been a lot of talk about the autumn as a date for having a vaccine widely available. That is an ambitious target.

"I think it's great to be ambitious, but we need to recognise that we're still in the early stages of our clinical trials.

"We've been discussing that a vaccine - if it works - will be widely available next year at the earliest.

"Looking towards an autumn deadline is great, but we need to realise that there is probably going to be more work to do and be may be looking at next year."

Work is continuing on a coronavirus vaccine
Work is continuing on a coronavirus vaccine. Picture: PA

Business Secretary Alok Sharma's praised the UK's scientists who are in the race to find a cure to the illness.

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, he said: "The first clinical trial of the Oxford vaccine is progressing well with all Phase One participants having received their vaccine dose schedule earlier this week.

"The speed at which Oxford University has designed and organised these complex trials is genuinely unprecedented."

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