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UK government discussing global access to Covid-19 vaccine

Image: Number 10 [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr

Announcement comes after Oxford vaccine shows promising immune response in early-stage human trial

Health secretary Matt Hancock says the UK is discussing global access to potential Covid-19 vaccines after scientists at the University of Oxford reported a breakthrough in their development of a vaccine.

“We reject narrow nationalism,” he said. “We support a global effort, because this virus respects no borders. And we are all on the same side.”

Hancock’s announcement on 20 July comes after it was revealed that the potential vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, had produced a promising immune response in a large, early-stage human trial.

Commenting on the development at Oxford, Hancock said: “This is promising news and it takes us one step closer to finding a vaccine that could potentially save lives all across the world.”

He added: “The UK is not just developing world-leading vaccines, we are putting more money into the global work for a vaccine than any other country. And, with like-minded partners, we are working to ensure that whoever’s vaccine is approved first, the whole world can have access.”

Another promising result, this time on the treatment front, were the initial findings from the clinical trial of a drug known as SNG001, created by the Southampton-based biotech firm Synairgen, which suggested the drug may reduce the chance of developing severe disease and could cut hospitalisation time by a third.