LONDON: Results from the UK’s first human trial of a COVID-19 vaccine could be available as soon as next month, said Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of the government’s coronavirus taskforce.
Since testing began toward the end of April, several hundred people have been injected. Around 1,110 in total are expected to take part in the trial. The research team hopes to produce 1 million doses of the vaccine by September. Meanwhile, one of the UK government’s chief scientific advisers has said fresh air and sunlight are among protective measures against COVID-19.
Prof. Alan Penn, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said science suggests that “being outside in sunlight, with good ventilation, are both highly protective against transmission of the virus.” He added that the use of outside spaces is “one of the lowest-risk forms of activity.”
Experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have said virus particles are greatly diluted in fresh air and destroyed by UV light and desiccation (removal of moisture). Another protective measure might come in the form of an altogether ordinary item found in most stores: Mouthwash.
Researchers say mouthwash could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in early stages of infection by damaging the outer lipid membrane that surrounds the virus, thereby neutralizing it.
“Some mouthwashes contain enough of known virucidal ingredients to effectively target lipids in similar enveloped viruses,” said Prof. Valerie O’Donnell, co-director of Cardiff University’s Systems Immunity Research Institute.
Research on this “is needed as a matter of urgency to determine its potential use against this new virus,” she added.