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A vaccine candidate for COVID-19 has been identified by researchers from the Oxford Vaccine Group and Oxford's Jenner Institute.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in December 2019, after a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was officially named COVID-19 on 11 February 2020. After assessing the outbreak and following transmission of the virus in many other countries worldwide, on 11 March 2020 the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This means that the disease has spread worldwide, and it is the first time that a coronavirus has led to a pandemic.

Scientists around the world are working hard to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but there is a lot to be done. A team in Oxford led by Prof. Sarah Gilbert, Prof. Andrew Pollard, Prof. Teresa Lambe, Dr Sandy Douglas and Prof. Adrian Hill started work designing a vaccine on Saturday 10 January 2020. The current status is that they have identified a vaccine candidate and are working towards the first clinical testing phase.

Read the full story on the Oxford Vaccine Group (Department of Paediatrics) website

This story was also covered by The Guardian on 19 March 2020