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The Government has announced £65.5 million of new funding for the vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford as coronavirus vaccine trials accelerate.

The funding announcement follows a global licensing agreement between Oxford University and AstraZeneca, the UK-based pharmaceutical company, for the commercialisation and manufacturing of their potential vaccine.

This means that, if the Oxford vaccine is successful, AstraZeneca will deliver 100 million doses in total worldwide.

Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, said: ‘The University of Oxford is immensely proud of the scientists at the Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group who have worked tirelessly to discover and develop this vaccine in record time. We now have a partner in AstraZeneca who are ideally positioned to help us evaluate the vaccine, manufacture it and distribute it to UK citizens as well as to the rest of the world. They share our commitment to true global access to end this pandemic.’

Dr Sandy Douglas of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, said: ‘We have been preparing for large-scale manufacturing of our vaccine candidate since February. This funding enables manufacturing to start immediately, and so will make vaccine available as soon as possible, while adhering to the most stringent safety standards. The methods developed here in the UK will also enable the production of vaccine for other countries.’

Read more on the University of Oxford website