The first healthy volunteer has now received a new coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers led by Professor Robin Shattock at Imperial College London.
First volunteer receives new COVID-19 vaccine today
The phase I trials were funded by UKRI as part of the UKRI/DHSC/NIHR COVID-19 rapid research response.
The study will be the first time the vaccine has been trialled in humans and will test whether it is well-tolerated and produces an effective immune response against COVID-19.
It will be the first test of a new self-amplifying RNA technology, which has the potential to revolutionise vaccine development and enable scientists to respond more quickly to emerging diseases.
The vaccine has undergone rigorous pre-clinical safety tests and in animal studies it has been shown to be safe and produced encouraging signs of an effective immune response.
Professor Fiona Watt, Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council, which helped fund the trial, said: “In less than six months from the first reports of the emergence of COVID-19 in China, and with support from UKRI and DHSC, we now have two promising UK vaccines in human trials. This astonishingly fast vaccine development – compared to the years it normally takes – is a result of the remarkably hard and collaborative work of the scientists, trialists and regulators. These human trials will contribute to global efforts to find a vaccine, which is our best hope for preventing COVID-19 and enabling life to return to normal.”
The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.