LATEST: 21 new cases of virus confirmed in Kilkenny, Irish scientists hail ‘fantastic’ vaccine test results
There has been no further coronavirus-related deaths but 252 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
The overall death toll as a result of the virus remains at 2,022. There are now 70,711 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
Of Monday’s cases, 88 are in Dublin, 26 in Cork, 21 in Kilkenny, 16 in Louth, 16 in Mayo, with the remaining 85 cases spread across another 20 counties.
The latest cases were confirmed as two Irish scientists involved in the development of a coronavirus vaccine at Oxford University described the results from phase 3 of the trials as “fantastic” and “promising”.
UK drugs group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford said their jointly-developed vaccine against Covid-19 has shown “an average efficacy of 70%” in trials.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Professor Teresa Lambe said the team behind the vaccine have taken monetary risks, but not safety risks, which is why they have been able to go so far, so fast.
Prof Lambe said a normal vaccine programme can take 10 years to develop. She explained that a vaccine first has to be designed, then there is pre-clinical testing and if a good read-out is achieved, a GMP (good manufacturing practice) batch is manufactured, which can be administered to humans.
“What we did, was we designed the vaccine and we started to try and get funds to allow us to make the GMP batch straight away, so the risk has been monetary and that’s why we’ve been able to go so far, so fast,” she said.
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