One of the scientists working to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 has warned that the vaccine being worked on by the Oxford University had a 50% chance of success as cases in the UK were declining rapidly. The Jenner Institute within the University of Oxford and the Oxford Vaccine Group began developing a vaccine against Covid-19 in January using a strain taken from monkeys.
The Director of the Institute, Professor Adrian Hill said that there may not be enough people to be tested for the vaccine because the number of coronavirus cases in the UK was declining with each passing day.
He said this was a race against time and a disappearing virus. He said that as announced earlier this year, the chance of developing an effective vaccine against Covid-19 by September stood at 80% and that currently, there was a 50% chance that they would not have a result. This placed them in an unpleasant situation because from a scientific point of view they want Covid-19 to persist for a while longer.
On Saturday, 282 people were reported to have died of the virus in UK hospitals, residential homes and the wider community. This figure was comparatively low when compared to the peak of the pandemic in the UK when almost 1,000 people were dying daily in hospitals alone.
Trials of the vaccine, officially known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 have started on 160 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 to see if it helps fight the virus. But this was only the first phase. The study has a second and third phase where 10,000 people have to be tested and the age of the participants has been extended to include children and the elderly. But if there are not enough people infected with the virus, scientists will not have enough evidence to declare the vaccine effective.