There is a “small chance” a coronavirus vaccine will be ready before Christmas, the director of the Oxford trials has said.
Vaccine trial chief investigator Andrew Pollard told the Science and Technology Committee he is “optimistic” the University of Oxford trial will be able to determine the success of the jab before the end of the year.
When asked if the Oxford vaccine would be ready by Christmas, Pollard said: “There is a small chance of that being possible but I just don’t know.”
“Our trials are only one of many that are going on around the world, a number of which may well report before the end of the year.”
However, he went on to say that the timeline for the deployment of a vaccine is still unclear.
According to NHS England’s chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, the health service is preparing to administer a COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas if a jab is ready by then.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Stevens said: “There are over 200 vaccines in development and we believe that we should hopefully get one or more of those available from the first part of next year.
“In anticipation of that we’re also gearing the NHS up to be ready to make a start on administering Covid-19 vaccines before Christmas, if they become available.”