director of Oxford University's
efforts to create
a vaccine as a
the virus disappearing,
There is only a 50% chance of the Oxford Coronavirus vaccine working
because cases in the UK are declining so fast, one of the scientists
behind it has warned.
The University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine
Group began developing a
COVID-19 vaccine in January using a virus
taken from chimpanzees.
But with the number of UK Coronavirus cases dropping every day,
there may not be enough people to test it on, according to the
institute's director Professor Adrian Hill.
The Sunday Telegraph (and the
Mail on Line):
"It's a race against
the virus disappearing, and against time. We said earlier in the
year that there was an 80% chance of developing an effective
vaccine by September.
"But at the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result
at all. We're in the bizarre position of wanting COVID to stay,
at least for a little while."
On Saturday, 282 people
were reported to have died of the virus in the UK across hospitals,
care homes and the community.
The figure has fallen dramatically since the peak of Britain's
outbreak, when almost 1,000 people were dying every day in hospitals
Trials of the vaccine - officially known as
(pronounced Chaddox One) - began with an initial phase of testing on
160 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 to see if it
could effectively fight off the virus.
The study is set to progress to
a second and third phase, which
will involve testing up to 10,260 people and expanding the age of
participants to include children and the elderly.
But if not enough people are able to catch the virus, scientists
will not have enough evidence to prove it is effective and roll it
out for NHS use.
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is made from
ChAdOx1, a weakened version of the
common cold virus (adenovirus) which causes infections in
The virus has been manipulated so that it cannot harm humans, but
also contains part of the Coronavirus so that it would trigger the
body's immune response to COVID-19's spike proteins which it uses to
enter human cells and multiply.