“COVID-19: The Search for a Vaccine” is a series of podcasts which throws light on the work of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce in co-ordinating and expediting efforts to protect the UK against COVID-19 through vaccination as quickly as possible. The series looks at the most promising research; the different approaches to producing a vaccine; and how suitable vaccines are identified and acquired. What are the greatest obstacles? What steps are being taken to ensure sufficient manufacturing capacity? Working at speed, how can we be sure that trials – and any vaccine - are safe? These and other questions will be put to the leading experts in the field, episode by episode, as the international effort to produce a vaccine continues.
8. Human Challenge
What are “human challenge” trials, and how might they help in efforts to develop a vaccine against COVID-19? Neil McNeil talks to Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force; Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine at Imperial College London, Dr. Andrew Catchpole, Chief Scientific Officer at hVIVO, and Sean Cousins, a volunteer participant in several human challenge trials.
When will we have a vaccine?
Efforts to develop a vaccine have been underway for months. For the latest news on when it might arrive – and whether we’ll need more than one - Neil McNeil speaks to Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force; Dr. Helen Horton, Chief Research Officer at Touchlight Genetics Ltd and scientific advisor to the vaccine task force; Saul Faust, Professor of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton, and Dr. Clive Dix, Vice-Chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force.
Making the vaccine
Developing a vaccine is one thing, but manufacturing it in very large amounts is a significant challenge in itself. In this episode, Neil McNeil is joined by Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force, Netty England, member of the BIA Manufacturing Advisory Committee, Andy Jones, Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Medicines Manufacturing Director, and Ian McCubbin, Vaccine Task Force Manufacturing Lead, to find out what’s involved and what’s being done to get ready for large-scale manufacture.
Clinical Research – reaching Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups
When the pandemic arrived, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities were disproportionally affected – so it’s essential that they’re strongly represented amongst volunteers for vaccine trials. Neil McNeil is joined by Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force, Shamaila Anwar of the NIHR, Dr. Maheshi Ramasamy, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Acute General Medicine and PI at the Oxford Vaccine Group, and Dr Dinesh Saralaya, Director of the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre in Bradford.
Vaccinating the world
What is being done to ensure that less well-off countries are not left behind if a successful vaccine is developed? What support is being offered in terms of manufacture, supply, storage and distribution? Neil McNeil speaks to Kate Bingham, Dr. Melanie Saville, Director of Vaccine Research & Development at CEPI, Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome, and Saul Walker, Deputy Director - Covid19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
UK Vaccine Strategy
Who should be first in the UK to receive a vaccine against COVID-19? Who makes that decision, and on what basis? Neil McNeil talks to Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force, Doctor Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at Public Health England, and Dr. Na’eem Ahmed of NHS England about the many essential criteria that must be considered before a decision is reached.