Coronavirus vaccine: UK has two strong candidates for cure, says task-force medic

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A leading medical expert working in the coronavirus task-force has revealed what progress has been made so far. Professor Robin Shattock said work towards a vaccine is faster than ever before noting that they have two very strong candidates. He believes the cure will come in ‘record time’.

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Speaking to LBC, Professor Shattock said: “It’s going well, we’re moving as fast as we possibly can and faster than we’ve ever been able to move vaccines in to clinical testing before, so that’s encouraging.

“But it still takes time to get from that first step to knowing that it’s safe and highly effective.”

He continued: “I think we’re in a particularly strong position in the UK because we have two very strong candidates.

“Our own candidate coming from Imperial College, also the group from Oxford.

“I think we have good chances of having an effective vaccine in a record time, but that still probably won’t be widely available until next year.”

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A coronavirus vaccine will come in record time says an expert (Image: GETTY)

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

The vaccine development is being supported by governmental task-force (Image: GETTY)

Professor Shattock added a vaccine is only part of the solution to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the social distancing measures enforced by the Government.

He noted technology has really changed enabling researches to work from a genetic blueprint of the virus which was published by Chinese scientists in January.

The researcher said: “We actually use genetic material to inject into the muscle and get the muscle to manufacture the vaccine instead of needing a large manufacturing plant.

“This is much more efficient, faster and safer as well.”

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Coronavirus has infected thousands in the UK (Image: GETTY)

His comments come as as a leading physician has warned Britain will face “further waves” of COVID-19 and will probably have the highest death rate in Europe because the Government was “too slow” to act.

Professor Anthony Costello, of University College London’s Institute for Global Health, told a committee of MPs that the “harsh reality” is that “we were too slow with a number of things” and deaths could reach to 40,000.

Prof Costello said: “If we’re going to suppress the chain of transmission of this virus in the next stage we all hope that the national lockdown and social distancing will bring about a large suppression of the epidemic so far – but we’re going to face further waves.”

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Coronavirus symptoms (Image: EXPRESS)

Ministers on Friday acknowledged a shortage of gowns – departing from their position that there were adequate supplies of PPE but some logistical problems getting it to where it was needed.

Britain has the fifth-highest official death toll from COVID-19 in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France, though the UK figure only covers hospital fatalities and the real number is probably much higher.

British ministers have defended their response to the outbreak, saying they followed scientific advice and have responded with urgency in what amounts to a war-like situation.

Mr Costello said the United Kingdom needed wide-scale testing and the right systems in place to deal with further flare-ups of the outbreak.


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