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BSI response to new COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial from University of Oxford

27 March 2020

Today, the University of Oxford has announced their COVID-19 vaccine programme has opened for clinical trial recruitment. While the vaccine will not ready for some weeks, the team are seeking healthy volunteers they can begin to screen for suitability.

In response to this development, the British Society for Immunology released the following statement welcoming the announcement.

Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the research team at the University of Oxford get this trial up and running in record time. The UK leads the world for the quality of our immunology research and this is another great example of how the community has come together to drive forward scientific discovery into this pandemic.

“This trial is, without doubt, a huge step forwards in our attempts to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, but we should remember that we can only speed up the research effort by so much.  This vaccine candidate still needs to go through many stages of testing to ensure that it is both safe and effective for widescale use. We need to be realistic about the timescale in which this can take place.

“Immunology is a global science. In the quest to find much needed vaccines and therapeutics against this novel coronavirus, we need to make sure that our research community can continue with international collaboration efforts to speed up development. This will give us the best chance of developing an effective vaccine and developing it soon."