Hopes have been raised that a Covid-19 vaccine could be on the way, following positive news from two of the vaccine trials currently underway.

US company Moderna delivered good news about their vaccine trial on Wednesday, saying it had produced immune responses in all 45 of the volunteers taking part in its first trial.

It’s also been reported that the vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford has had a major breakthrough, with researchers discovering it could offer ‘double protection’ against Covid-19, producing both antibodies and T-cells in recipients.

With many other vaccines also in development across the world, experts are hopeful that we will eventually have a jab to protect us against the virus – but just how many are in development and when might we actually have a vaccine?




Here’s what we know so far…

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How many coronavirus vaccines are in development?

According to the London School Of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s vaccine tracker, some 218 vaccines against Covid-19 are currently being developed across the world.

Of these, 29 are currently undergoing human trials, with the Oxford vaccine entering the final stage of human trials, where it is given to thousands of volunteers to see whether it is safe and can offer protection from the virus.

The Moderna vaccine is due to begin its final stage of trials, on around 30,000 volunteers, on 27 July.

That trial will conclude in October.

Another vaccine, from London’s Imperial College, is also currently undergoing human trials.

Could we have a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2020?

Despite the initial trials having been successful in some cases, there is no guarantee we will have a vaccine available to the public by the end of this year.

It’s been reported that the Oxford vaccine could be ready for use around September or October time, with manufacturers AstraZeneca potentially rolling out two billion doses if trials prove successful.

However it’s also been suggested that a vaccine might not be ready until early next year, which might not be in time to prevent a potential second wave of infections this winter.

Imperial College has indicated that if trials are successful their vaccine could be rolled out in the first half of 2021, with team head Professor Robin Shattock telling Sky News On Sunday: ‘We anticipate if everything goes really well that we’ll get an answer as to whether it works by early next year.

Concerns have also been raised over whether a vaccine would provide long-term immunity, with Dr Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York, saying that it is still unclear how long any potential shot would last – or whether it would simply lessen the effects of a Covid-19 infection rather than giving people complete protection.

However Professor Sarah Gilbert, a scientist helping to develop the Oxford vaccine, has indicated that studies have been promising and that the jab could last for several years – and that, if approved, their vaccine could provide more protection from the virus than natural immunity could.



It’s also worth noting that if and when a vaccine is widely available, it’s likely that health workers, as well as the elderly and vulnerable would be given priority to receive it – which could mean a longer wait for everybody else.

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