The first four human participants have taken part in a pioneering new trial aiming to develop a vaccination to prevent Covid-19.
According to reports, four patients living in the US received a harmless copy of the Covid-19 virus in hope that the immune system will produce antibodies capable of fighting off the genuine virus.
Despite the scientific industry moving at unprecedented speeds to produce a vaccine, experts warned that vaccinations for the general public are still months, if not years, away from production.
Researchers have also warned that the speed at which this trial is moving sacrifices certain safeguarding elements, such as animal trials.
Speaking to the BBC about the safety of the human trial, Dr John Tregoning, an expert in infectious diseases at Imperial College London, said: “This vaccine uses pre-existing technology. It’s been made to a very high standard, using things that we know are safe to use in people and those taking part in the trial will be very closely monitored.
“Yes, this is very fast – but it is a race against the virus, not against each other as scientists, and it’s being done for the benefit of humanity.”
It is understood that even if the human trial proves a success, much more rigorous testing will be required, meaning a vaccination could not reach the public for up to 18 months.
Until then, it is advised to follow Public Health England (PHE) advice to help slow the spread of the virus.
This includes washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water; using a tissue or sleeve to catch a cough or sneeze; avoiding touching your face; and isolating yourself if you experience Covid-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has.
For medical support, including advice on adult flu vaccinations, get in touch with our expert team today.