A potential coronavirus vaccine is due to be “trialled in people” from Thursday, the health secretary has said, claiming the government will “throw everything” at efforts to stop the virus.
“In normal times, reaching this stage would take years,” Matt Hancock said, adding how he is “very proud” the University of Oxford was able to make such progress.
Mr Hancock, who is under fire over his 100,000-per-day testing target and a lack of protective equipment for health and care staff, said it was clear that the “best way to defeat coronavirus is through a vaccine”.
Speaking at the daily press briefing, Mr Hancock praised the “rapid progress” being made into vaccines by scientists at Oxford and Imperial College London.
He claimed the UK had “put more money than any other country into the global search for a vaccine”.
He said of all the efforts around the world, “two of the leading vaccine developments are taking place here at home at Oxford and Imperial”.
Mr Hancock says he has told scientists leading the search he would “back them to the hilt and give them every resource they need” in order to succeed.