A UK vaccine for the coronavirus is to be tested on human ‘guinea pigs’ from Thursday.
British health secretary Matt Hancock has promised to give medical teams everything they need but also warned that “nothing about this process is certain”.
Up to 510 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 across multiple locations in the U.K. are set to take part in the clinical trial.
Scientists have already started large-scale production of the vaccine and say they hope to have one million doses ready for use by September.
Mr Hancock told the government’s daily briefing that the Oxford trial and another at Imperial College London would each get at least another £20m of public money.
The Jenner Institute team at Oxford is starting production before the trial is complete and wants about a million doses ready to be sent out by September.
Mr Hancock said developing a vaccine is an “uncertain science” but that the two teams were making “rapid progress” and would be backed “to the hilt”.
He said: “At the same time we’ll invest in manufacturing capability so if either of these vaccines safely works then we can make it available for the British people as soon as humanely possible.”