Coronavirus: First volunteers take part in UK vaccine human trial

‘I wanted to try to support the scientific process wherever I can,’ says patient Elisa Granato

Peter Stubley
Friday 24 April 2020 00:27
Comments
Human trial of coronavirus vaccine begins in UK

The first volunteer to receive an injection in the UK human trials for a coronavirus vaccine was a microbiologist celebrating her 32nd birthday.

Elisa Granato said she was “excited” to help researchers at the University of Oxford find a way to fight back against the disease sweeping the globe.

“Since I don’t study viruses, I felt a bit useless these days, so I felt like this is a very easy way for me to support the cause,” she said.

Ms Granato was followed by cancer researcher Edward O’Neill, who said volunteering was “the right thing to do to ensure that we can combat this disease and get over it a lot faster.”

They are just the first two of up to 1,102 participants recruited for the trial. Six more patients will follow on Saturday, with the numbers to rapidly increase from Monday.

Half of them will receive the potential Covid-19 vaccine and the others will receive a “control” vaccine for meningitis.

However, because this is a clinical trial, none of the volunteers will be told which one they have received.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the Oxford Vaccine Group, said she is ”very optimistic” about its chances for success.

She said: “There’s absolutely no suggestion we’re going to start using this vaccine in a wider population before we’ve demonstrated that it actually works and stops getting people infected with coronavirus.”

The group hopes to have at least a million doses of its candidate vaccine ready in September.

Other participants, who are due to receive their doses next week, have revealed how the team has explained the risks involved.

“We’ve had to give explicit consent at every step of the way,” Lydia Guthrie told BBC Radio 4. ”They’re really clear with us that as participants we can pull out at any time if we change our minds.”

She said that after receiving the jab should would keep a diary about how she feels and list any potential symptoms.

Meanwhile another team at Imperial College London is developing its own vaccine and hopes to start its own clinical trials in June.​

Additional reporting by Press Association

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in