There is every possibility the world will be getting a coronavirus vaccine sooner than expected, thanks to promising results following testing on monkeys.
Reports also have it that there might be a widespread availability as early as September.
Six rhesus macaque monkeys were injected with a dose of the Oxford University scientists’ vaccine and remain infection-free four weeks after being exposed to the virus, reports The New York Times.
This means that a new vaccine trial involving more than 6,000 participants will be started by the end of next month in an effort to show the vaccine is safe and effective.
If all goes well, the new vaccine would be granted emergency approval by authorities and lead to ‘millions’ of doses available by September, it is claimed.
Despite monkeys not involved in last month’s trial in Montana becoming sick, all half dozen participants showed no signs of Covid-19 after being given the vaccine.
Lead researcher Dr Vincent Munster for the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory said the species of monkey used is “the closest thing we have to humans”.
There is no guarantee the vaccine will work on humans but Dr Munster plans to submit his research to a peer-reviewed journal.