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Britain Says 2 Research Teams Progressing on Potential COVID Vaccines

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks during a daily digital news conference on the COVID-19 outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, April 21, 2020.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced Tuesday that two separate British research teams are making significant progress on a COVID-19 vaccine, with one them planning to run trials on people on Thursday.

At a news briefing in London, Hancock said researchers at both the Imperial College of London and Oxford University had are moving into the trial stage with their potential vaccines.

He said the Oxford team, which has been working closely with Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was prepared to begin conducting clinical trials on people this week. He said the government is allocating about $25 million to fund their effort.

He said the government is also allocating more than $27 million to Imperial College to fund phase two of its clinical trials, and for it to start a phase three trial.

Hancock said normally it would take years to get to this stage of vaccine development. He said Britain will invest heavily in manufacturing capability so that, in event one of the vaccines is proven effective, they can quickly make it available.