Pharmaceutical giant Janssen has announced clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in the UK.
This is the third potential coronavirus vaccine to enter clinical trials in the UK, alongside US biotech company Novavax and University of Oxford/AstraZeneca whose studies are currently ongoing.
A total of 6,000 volunteers are taking part in phase-three trials of the COVID-19 vaccine at 17 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) sites, including in Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester, Dundee and Belfast.
Professor Saul Faust, director of the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility and chief investigator for the Janssen phase-three trial, told Sky News: “The Janssen vaccine is very similar to the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine in that it’s an adapted cold virus that can’t replicate in the body and can’t give us a cold and can’t give us coronavirus but it shows the body’s immune system the spike protein to let us make immune responses to it.
“The Pfizer announcement last week was really exciting because we didn’t know until last week that a vaccine will be able to stop coronavirus at all.”