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  • Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, which led clinical trials for the Ebola vaccine, is developing a coronavirus vaccine. April, 2020.

    Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, which led clinical trials for the Ebola vaccine, is developing a coronavirus vaccine. April, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @sebasugarte

Published 28 April 2020
Opinion

The vaccine could be available to humans by September, should the next round of testing prove successful. 
 

The Jenner Institute at Oxford University in the United Kingdom successfully tested a vaccine against COVID-19 in Rhesus macaques, scientists revealed on Monday.

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The results of the research will be released next week, a month after testing the drug on six Rhesus macaques.

The vaccine was given to the six monkeys at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana.

The vaccinated animals were exposed to large amounts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Twenty-eight days later they remained healthy, while those who were not given the dose became ill.

"The monkey is one of the animals that most resembles humans, immunologically speaking," one of the researchers, Vincent Munster told the press.

Scientists plan to test the inoculation on more than 6,000 people by the end of next month. If proven effective, millions of doses could be available to humans by September.

If the vaccine is effective, the University of Oxford in the UK would be the first institution to achieve a coronavirus vaccine.

There is still some way to go. The immunity achieved in monkeys does not guarantee that the vaccine will provide the same degree of protection for humans.

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