Scientists at Imperial College London are set to start immunizing hundreds of people with an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Immunization to start in an early trial after they found no worrying safety problems in a small number vaccinated so far.
Scientists at the college had just finished a very slow and arduous process of testing the vaccine at a low dose in the initial participants. They are planning now to expand the trial to about 300 people, including some over age 75.
Since COVID-19 infections have dropped dramatically in Britain, making it difficult to determine whether or not the vaccine works, scientists are also looking to test their vaccine elsewhere.
They are looking very carefully at the pandemic, at the numbers where the hot spots are and talking to collaborators that have the facilities to do these kinds of studies.
Earlier this week, the world’s biggest coronavirus vaccine study started in the United States, with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers getting immunized with shots created by the US National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.
Several other vaccines made by China and by Britain’s Oxford University, based on different vaccine technologies, began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.
The World Health Organization has said multiple vaccine approaches are necessary for COVID-19, noting that the usual success rate for vaccine development is about 10 per cent.
There are numerous coronavirus vaccines now in clinical trials, some of them are likely to be effective.