Coronavirus was first discovered in December 2019, originating in Wuhan, China. The virus has since spread across the world, infecting millions of people. As the world suffers the effects of the pandemic there is a high demand for a vaccine, but there could be a long wait before a vaccine is approved and rolled out.
How long does it take to make a vaccine?
Vaccines traditionally take a long time to develop and must pass various stages before it can be used by the public.
After pre-clinical trials have been completed, Phase I, II, III and IV trials will need to be completed.
According to Vaccines Europe, in Phase II between 100 and 300 people will be trialled.
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This stage alone can usually last two or more years.
By Phase III between 3,000 and 50,000 vaccine candidates will need to be trialed, and this stage can last three to five years.
Many experts are predicting a COVID-19 vaccine could come around in a much quicker timeframe than previous vaccines.
However, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance has said there will not be a vaccine for at least 12 to 18 months.
When will there be a coronavirus vaccine?
It is unknown exactly when, or if, there will be a readily available vaccine for coronavirus.
But many world health experts believe it could be possible within 12 to 18 months.
Writing in the Observer on Sunday, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “There is cause for optimism.”
He added: “With more than 80 vaccine projects across the world, there is an effort the like of which has never been seen before.
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“A vaccine has to work, but it also has to be safe.
“If a vaccine is to be given to billions of people, many of whom may be at low risk from COVID-19, it must have a good safety profile.
“Even when a vaccine has been shown to produce an immune response there will still be clinical testing and trials to be done.
“With COVID-19 we need to understand more about the immune response and how that will alter the response to the disease.
“This presents new challenges for making an effective and safe vaccine.”
Research is being carried out in countries across the world to find a COVID-19 vaccine.
In France there are more than 30 studies currently underway involving some 1,600 patients.
A team at Oxford University are currently receiving UK Government funding for their research into a potential vaccine.
The study is due to begin human trials for the vaccine this week.
In a recent development, NHS Blood and Transplant are also asking to collect blood plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19, to use in trials for a possible treatment for the virus.
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