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Oxford scientist 'optimistic' COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in UK by end of year

Oxford scientist 'optimistic' COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in UK by end of year
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A researcher who's part of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine trials said on Wednesday there is a small possibility that the results of the vaccine could be ready in the U.K. by the end of the year.

“The first step is to reach the point where we can do an analysis and figure out whether or not the vaccine works. ... I'm optimistic that we could reach that point before the end of this year," vaccinologist Andrew Pollard told U.K. lawmakers, according to CNN.

This news does not indicate when the vaccine would be made available if it in fact works, and Pollard stressed that the results would need to be approved by regulators before being distributed.

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The U.K. announced last week that it would be going into a second national lockdown due to rising coronavirus cases. Other countries in Europe as well as the U.S. have all seen spikes in coronavirus cases. 

Pollard's statement on Wednesday supports what Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal The Memo: Biden moves into new phase of COVID-19 fight Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and a top immunologist, recently said in an October interview.

Fauci was asked by BBC host Andrew Marr about President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's Facebook ban to stay in place, board rules Trump allies launching nonprofit focused on voter fraud DOJ asks for outside lawyer to review Giuliani evidence MORE’s claims that a vaccine would be ready in a few weeks, to which he replied, “I believe he said that correctly, we will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December.”

He went on to clarify that if any vaccines were found to be safe and effective, they likely would not be widely available until the middle of next year, with front-line workers receiving vaccines early in 2021.

Oxford University is currently developing its vaccine with British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. The company recently resumed trials in the U.S. after a brief pause when a participant developed an “unexplained illness.”

Updated: 4:20 p.m.