Professor Shattock’s team is developing a unique vaccine approach that has significant potential to end the pandemic, in the UK and globally. This novel vaccine is similar to others under development by different countries in terms of targeting the Spike protein.
However, it differs in one crucial aspect: the anticipated human dose is very small, meaning that it will be possible to scale this to millions of doses.
It will be the first test of a new self-amplifying RNA technology, which has the potential to revolutionise vaccine development and enable scientists to respond more quickly to emerging diseases.
The vaccine in question would harness new technology, which would mean it could be manufactured in large quantities and be relatively cheap to produce at just £3 per dose.
The UK government has given £22.5 million in funding toward research and trials of the vaccine, with £5 million more being donated from private sources.
Scientists at Imperial College in London said the new vaccine works by injecting a dose approximately a thousandth of a thousandth of a gram of genetic material, called RNA, into the body, allowing it to begin multiplying.