Covid-19: Meet the First two volunteers in UK for the Vaccine

Two scientists have been injected with a hopeful coronavirus vaccine in the UK’s first human trials.

University of Oxford researchers administered the first dose on Thursday, while the other person was given a meningitis vaccine to be used for comparison. The Oxford Vaccine Group – who is ‘very optimistic’ it will work – hopes to repeat the process with six more volunteers on Saturday, with more than 1,000 being tested from Monday.

Microbiologist Elisa Granato and cancer researcher Edward O’Neill volunteered themselves to be the first two participants. They said they wanted to help in what could be a groundbreaking development in the fight against the pandemic.

Ms Granato, who took part in the trial on her 32nd birthday, said she was ‘excited’ to support the efforts by volunteering.

She told the BBC: ‘Since I don’t study viruses, I felt a bit useless these days, so I felt like this is a very easy way for me to support the cause.’

Mr O’Neill said: ‘It seems like the right thing to do to ensure that we can combat this disease and get over it a lot faster.’

Professor Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the trial team, said she is optimistic about the vaccine’s chances of success.

She said: ‘Personally, I’m very optimistic it’s going to work. Formally, we are testing it in an efficacy setting.

‘There’s absolutely no suggestion we’re going to start using this vaccine in a wider population before we’ve demonstrated that it actually works and stops getting people infected with coronavirus.’

Up to 1,102 participants will be recruited across multiple study sites in Oxford, Southampton, London and Bristol from next week.

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