Coronavirus vaccine to be trialled in UK from Thursday
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A possible Covid-19 vaccine will begin being tested on people in the UK from Thursday, Matt Hancock said, as he announced more than £40m made available to support scientists.
The Health Secretary said a potential coronavirus vaccine, which is currently being developed at the University of Oxford, will be trialled on people for the first time this week - many times more quickly than would normally be the case.
He said the Government had promised it would do "everything in our power" to support projects working on a vaccine for the virus.
He announced £20m of funding for the Oxford trial, as well as another £22.5m for another vaccine project at Imperial College London. More than £42.5m is being invested to fund clinical trials of coronavirus vaccines, UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
The Health Secretary was giving the daily briefing from Downing Street, where he said the government would 'throw everything we've got' at developing a vaccine. Hancock began the briefing by highlighting that the government's primary goal, to slow the spread of Covid-19 and protect the NHS, was working.
He gave the latest figures saying that 129,044 people had tested positive for the virus, and that 17,337 people had died in UK hospitals.
"We owe it to them not to throw away the progress we have made so far," Hancock said, adding that the government would not be relaxing restrictions until it was safe to do so.
Hancock said the government was working around the clock to deliver PPE, 'buying equipment from around the world and making more at home'.
Hancock went on to say that a vaccine was the best way to defeat the coronavirus in the long run. "This is a new disease and the science is uncertain, but we will throw everything we have got at developing a vaccine," Hancock said.