Business Secretary Alok Sharma has said the clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine at the University of Oxford is progressing well.
The business secretary said the Government had so far invested £47 million in vaccine programmes at Oxford and also Imperial College London, and announced a further £84 million in new funding “to help accelerate their work”.
He said: “This new money will help mass-produce the Oxford vaccine so that if current trials are successful we have dosages to start vaccinating the UK population straight away.”
Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca have finalised a “global licensing agreement” with Oxford University with Government support.
“This means that if the vaccine is successful AstraZeneca will work to make 30 million doses available by September for the UK as part of an agreement for over 100 million doses in total,” Mr Sharma said.
He said “the UK will be first to get access” but that the Government would also ensure that “we’re able to make the vaccine available to developing countries at the lowest possible cost”.
It would be a major achievement to create a vaccine in such a short period, with many experts anticipating that such work would take at least a year.