May 3, 2020 - Health

Oxford scientist says evidence of vaccine efficacy could come in early June

Oxford University scientist John Bell, who is leading one of the efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that his research group will likely get evidence on whether the vaccine has efficacy by early June.

Why it matters: The world is pinning its hopes on a vaccine for COVID-19 to save lives, help us return to normal and emerge from an economic recession.

The big picture: Bell noted that the "efficacy of the vaccine in terms of generating strong antibody responses is probably going to be OK," but said that a big issue is ensuring safety.

  • "We're being very careful in the clinic to try to monitor exactly what's happening, but you know that doesn't mean there won't be safety signals because there may well be," he said. "And we'll be on the alert to see if we can see them."
  • Bell also added that while the coronavirus doesn't mutate at the pace of the flu, he suspects that this vaccine will likely have to be a seasonal one.

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