Professor Pollard believes that the success of the government closure as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 could hinder the process of developing a vaccine, as the limited number of cases in the community could slow the rate at which the vaccine can be tested.
In addition to developing vaccines, doctors are testing existing drugs against viruses such as Ebola, malaria and HIV. Initial results look promising, but until the full clinical trials are completed, doctors cannot be sure that the drugs are working.
It has also been reported that GSK and Sanofi have joined forces to develop a treatment for coronaviruses and plan to prepare a vaccine for testing by the end of 2020.
UK Vaccine Task Force
On April 17, the government launched a task force designed to “rapidly develop a coronavirus vaccine”, as well as to expand manufacturing so that it can be quickly produced and delivered in large quantities.
It will be chaired by Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Jonathan van Tam, Deputy Chief Physician, and members will include AstraZeneca and the Wellcome Trust.
The government originally earmarked £ 14 million to invest in 21 coronavirus research projects, such as the work of scientists from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. On April 21, an announcement of an additional £ 44.5 million for the Oxford and Imperial trials further increased this funding.