The Race to Develop a Coronavirus Vaccine

Sarah Gilbert, currently the front-runner is months ahead of her competition.

Could this be the one?

Gilbert, currently leading the University of Oxford team that developed the coronavirus vaccine, has been working around the clock — as one does while trying to end a pandemic, trying to determine how effective the vaccine will be.

At the end of April, crunching a process that normally takes about 5 years into less than four months, Gilbert and her colleagues at Oxford’s Jenner Institute started a human trial on 1,100 people. Gilbert’s team has leapfrogged other vaccine contenders to the point where it will likely finish vaccinating subjects in its big 10,000 person efficiency trial before other big candidates.

Gilbert has voiced remarkable confidence in her chances, saying the Oxford vaccine has an 80% probability of being effective in stopping people who are exposed to the virus from developing Covid-19. She has said she could know by September.

Many have asked her if the US would have to struggle through the winter without a vaccine. Gilbert said, “I hope we can improve on those timelines and come to your rescue.”