The technology the laboratory had already developed in previous work on inoculations for other viruses, including a close relative of COVID-19, gave it a head start.
“Well personally, I have great confidence in this vaccine because it is a technology I have used before,” said Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the university.
The vaccine absorbs the genetic material from the coronavirus and injects it into a common cold virus that has been neutralized so that it cannot spread to humans. The modified virus will mimic COVID-19, triggering the immune system to fight the imposter and providing protection from reality.
The experimental vaccine would have worked to protect rhesus macaque monkeys who were exposed to large amounts of COVID-19.
In human trials, 550 participants receive the vaccine and another 550 receive a placebo.
“I feel like I am finally able to do something …” said Elisa Granato, a scientist at Oxford and a volunteer for the trials. “It was a way for me to contribute to the cause. “
In no time, the world’s largest drug manufacturer, based in India, will begin producing millions of Oxford vaccines by next month, before they have proven effective.