A Coronavirus vaccine could be ready as soon as Autumn according to professors at Oxford University, but around one in five people say they would be unsure, or would refuse it altogether.
The poll, carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health, asked 5,000 people whether or not they would accept the COVID-19 vaccine, and 19% of respondents said they would either refuse it, or would be unsure.
81% of those asked said that they would accept the vaccine, with most saying that they would do so to protect themselves and others.
Rumours and conspiracy theories that have been spreading on social media about a potential vaccine for the bug was cited as one of the reasons why some would refuse.
The World Health Organisation have listed the declining uptake in vaccines as one of the greatest threats to public health.
Chief executive of the RSPH, Shirley Cramer said “It is concerning indeed that, despite this upheaval, a substantial minority remain unsure about the prospect of a vaccination against Covid-19.
“It is clear that our only long-term exit strategy from the current situation is a vaccine, and so it’s vital that the stage is set for it to be distributed fairly and comprehensively once that time comes.
“The public should be reassured that vaccines are a safe and exceptionally effective way of fighting infectious diseases like coronavirus, and even in a normal year save two to three million lives across the globe.”
70 vaccines in development
According to the World Health Organisation, 70 COVID-19 vaccines are currently in development around the globe.
An experimental vaccine by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology is said to be closest to completion, and is already in the 2nd stage of trials.
Two other vaccines are already being tested on humans.
It is expected to take at least a year to finish developing a suitable Coronavirus vaccine. It normally takes around 10 to 15 years to get to that stage.
Oxford University professor Sarah Gilbert said that she hopes that a vaccine could be ready as soon as Autumn this year.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “I know quite a lot about the Oxford project, and it is really great to see some hope, especially on the front page of the newspapers.”
Testing will begin next week for the Oxford University vaccine. It is hoped that it will be ready in time to prevent a second wave from taking hold in the UK.
510 people will take part in the clinical trials which will start next week.
Professor Adrian Hill said “We are going into human trials next week. We have tested the vaccine in several different animal species.”
Hundreds of scientists are said to be competing globally to become the first to deliver a safe Coronavirus vaccine.
Professor Sarah Gilbert said that she is “80% sure” that the Oxford vaccine will work.
She said “We have taken a fairly cautious approach, but a rapid one to assess the vaccine that we are developing. We’re a university, we have a very small in house manufacturing facility that can do dozens of doses. That’s not good enough to supply the world, obviously.
“We are working with manufacturing organisations and paying them to start the process now. So by the time July, August, September comes – whenever this is looking good – we should have the vaccine to start deploying under emergency use recommendations.”