December 1, 2020

Coronavirus hopes surge as much cheaper British-made vaccine could be ready by year’s end – Express

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1360291/Coronavirus-vaccine-news-oxford-university-oxford-covid-efficacy-phase-3-trials-ont

The vaccine – being developed by the university in cooperation with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca – is also cheaper and easier to store that the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. The announcement would be good news for the Government, which has already placed an order for 100 million doses, on top of the 40 million it has ordered from Pfizer.

{%=o.title%}

It follows news from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Monday that its own vaccine had proved to be 90 percent effective in preventing illness following key phase 3 trials.

Meanwhile, Professor Andrew Pollard, who is spearheading the Oxford-AstraZeneca effort, told The Sun his own team’s “miracle” work was being done at “record speed”.

He said: “We’re optimistic we’ll be able to demonstrate efficacy by the end of the year.

Coronavirus jab

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are being developed around the world (Image: Cravetiger / Getty)

“We have been working tirelessly all year and can’t wait to see the results in the months ahead.”

In the pharmaceutical industry ‘efficacy’ refers to how well the drug performs its desired task.

According to analysts, government officials are hoping behind the scenes that the Oxford vaccine will ‘catch up’ with the Pfizer one due to cost.

READ: Britain’s zoos risk ‘extinction’ as red tape blocks emergency funds for hundreds of parks

Oxford University

An Oxford scientist has express optimism the university’s vaccine could be proven effective this year (Image: Carl Court / Getty)

It has been said the final product could be around ten times cheaper than its US/German counterpart.

The Telegraph reports that, although it is not known how much the UK is being charged for the Pfizer jab, the company is selling it in the US for just under £30.

Oxford University, meanwhile, is said to be offering its own vaccine for £2.23 per dose in Europe, though its phase 3 efficacy has not yet been proven.

DON’T MISS:
Act now, Boris! PM told four-day working week will provide ‘double boost’ to UK economy [INSIGHT]
Mohamed Salah update after positive coronavirus test as Liverpool in contact with Egypt [ANALYSIS]
Coronavirus warning: Vaccine will only get UK out of lockdown if enough people recieve it [INFO]

Boris Johnson

The UK has placed orders for tens of millions of vaccine doses, including 100 million of the Oxford jab (Image: Leon Neal / Getty)

There is also the issue of logistics. Due to the way in which the Pfizer vaccine works, it must be stored in liquid nitrogen or another cold container capable of temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius.

Sir John Bell, another head of the Oxford vaccine programme, said this means that having the jab available through local GP surgeries “sounds a bit unlikely to me”.

Still, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a news conference earlier this month the UK’s 40 million Pfizer vaccine doses could be “enough for about a third of the population”.

Jonathan Van Tam

Jonathan Van Tam, deputy chief medical officer, has said he is ‘hopeful’ a vaccine could be available in the UK by this year (Image: Leon Neal / Pool / AFP / Getty)

UK coronavirus map

UK coronavirus map (Image: EXPRESS)

Britain’s population is estimated to be around 66.7 million, but each person will need two doses.

In the same news conference, deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned the public not to get “over-excited” by the Pfizer vaccine efficacy news and said he was “not yet certain” the vaccine could be ready to roll out in the UK by Christmas.

However, he added he was “hopeful” that this would be the case.

People wear masks as they walk past Christmas decorations

Shoppers wear masks as they walk past Christmas decorations in London (Image: Lucy North / MI News / NurPhoto / Getty)

In May, the government announced it would be backing Oxford scientists, as well as researchers at Imperial College London, with £84 million of new funding.

Oxford announced in early September that its vaccine trials had been put on hold after a participant in Britain suffered an adverse reaction.

A few days later, the university said its trials would restart, and just over a month afterwards trials resumed in the US as well.