In a statement on Monday, British government declared 300 healthy people will be immunised with two doses of the Coronavirus vaccine candidate developed at Imperial College London, which has been backed by USD 41 million in government in funding.
The Coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Imperial has only been tested in animals and in the laboratory, where it developed much higher levels of antibodies than would be normally seen in Coronavirus infected patient.
Many scientists have already warned that the COVID-19 pandemic might only be stopped with an effective vaccine, which generally takes years to develop.
Robin Shattock, who is leading the COVID-19 vaccine research said, In the long term, a viable COVID-19 vaccine could be vital for protecting the most vulnerable, enabling restrictions to be relaxed and helping people get back to normal life.
Generally the vaccine uses synthetic strand of genetic code based on the targeted virus. Once injected into the muscle of the infected, the body's own cells are instructed to make copies of spiky protein on the Coronavirus. That should in turn trigger an immune response so that the infected body can fight off any future Coronavirus infection.
About a dozen COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently in early stages of testing thousands of people. There are no gurantees any will work but there's increasing hope that at least some could be ready by the end of 2020.
Oxford University recently began a study involving 10,000 volunteers, and the United States of America is preparing for even larger studies in July that involve 30,000 people each testing different candidates, including Oxford's and one made by the National Institute of Health and Moderna Inc.
Scientists have never created vaccines this fast and it's far from clear that any will ultimately prove safe and effective. Still countries like US, Britain, France, Netherland, Germany have already placed advance orders for million of COVID-19 vaccine that could be available by the end of 2020 if they prove to be effective.
The WHO noted on Monday that there have been about 100,000 new COVID-19 cases reported everyday for the past two weeks and that relaxed restrictions in many countries have led to new surge of cases.