Southampton and Oxford: The South's success in finding a Covid-19 vaccine

Trials of a new coronavirus vaccine have started in Southampton while Sir Keir Starmer visits the Jenner Institute in Oxford.

Trials of a new coronavirus vaccine have started in Southampton. It's one of 17 areas testing the jab made by pharmaceutical company Janssen.

It's already undergone phase one and two trials and this is the third stage. Researchers are aiming to recruit around 6 thousand participants from the UK and 30 thousand worldwide. On the same day, the work of scientists in Oxford, working round the clock to develop a coronavirus vaccine, has been praised by Sir Keir Starmer during a visit to the city.

The Labour leader  toured the Jenner Institute with his shadow Chancellor, Oxford East MP Annaliese Dodds. He told reporters that Boris Johnson was right to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

  • Report on Southampton vaccine trials by ITV News Meridian's Heather Edwards:

  • Report on Keir Starmer's visit to the Jenner Institute in Oxford by Cary Johnston:

Fed up of being in lockdown, Simon Martin decided to do something to help. He has come to this clinic in Southampton where they are testing a vaccine for Covid and he is optimistic.

  • Simon Martin- Vaccine volunteer:

The vaccine is being developed by the pharmaceutical company Janssen - initial tests look positive. 30,000 people across the world will now be given the vaccine to see just how effective it is.

6000 volunteers are needed here in the UK, the US and European countries- and the idea is that we're testing a two dose schedule of this vaccine so, giving two doses a couple of months apart, to see whether that gives us a stronger and more prolonged immune response than just one dose.

Professor Saul Faust- University of Southampton

There is now real hope that a vaccine will end this pandemic.

Last week the US company Pfeizer said its vaccine was 90% effective in protecting people from Covid and today (16/11) a second US company Moderna has also reported positive results.

  • Professor Saul Faust- University of Southampton:

The trial will now run for the next 12 months and the company need more people to come forward and volunteer to take part. 

The government has ordered 30 million doses should the results show the vaccine works.   

Arriving at Oxford's Jenner Institute, there was no masking the labour leader's wish to discover more about the vaccine research being carried out here. 

Sir Keir Starmer visiting the Jenner Institute in Oxford Credit: ITV News Meridian

Once inside, it was off with the political jacket and on with the scientific one, as Sir Keir Starmer was given an inside view of AstraZeneca's vaccine trial, just one of many being fast-tracked across the world. 

But afterwards, it wasn't long before he revealed he'd today (16/11) written to the Prime Minister calling for what he described as "a national action plan" for any vaccine roll-out. 

  • Sir Keir Starmer- Labour leader:

A hope which has gained traction not least because of the continuing work of scientists in Oxford, according to the MP for Oxford East. 

This is just such a fantastic endeavour that has been going on in Oxford, and every single person who has been involved needs to have a huge round of applause from all of us. 

Annaliese Dodds MP- Oxford East, Lab