Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by September after monkey tests are ‘successful’

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A vaccine against Covid-19 could be widely available by September following successful testing on monkeys.

Six rhesus macaque monkeys received a dose of the vaccine developed by Oxford University scientists and remain infection-free four weeks after being exposed to the virus during the trial at Montana University, reports The New York Times.

No sign of Covid-19 was uncovered after the vaccine was given.

A new vaccine trial involving more than 6,000 participants will now begin at the end of next month in an effort to show it is safe and effective, reports MirrorOnline.



Experts at the University of Oxford working to develop a vaccine
Experts at the University of Oxford working to develop a vaccine

If this is successful, the new vaccine would be granted emergency approval by authorities and lead to ‘millions’ of doses available by September, it is claimed.

Lead researcher Dr Vincent Munster for the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory said the species of monkey used is “the closest thing we have to humans”.

There is no guarantee the vaccine will be successful on humans but Dr Munster plans to submit his research to a peer-reviewed journal.

As many as 100 potential Covid-19 candidate vaccines are now under development and at least five of these are in preliminary testing on humans during Phase 1 clinical trials.

Last week, the first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine started in Oxford.

Two volunteers were injected, the first of more than 800 people recruited for the study.

Italy’s ReiThera, Germany’s Leukocare and Belgium’s Univercells said they were working together on a potential shot and aimed to start trials in a few months.

Britain’s GSK and France’s Sanofi last week announced a similar agreement to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, with trials starting in the second half of the year.

Mylan NV, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc are also increasing production of their own versions of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which is being tested in multiple clinical trials against the coronavirus.

Novartis and Bayer AG have said they will donate their own versions of that drug.



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