AN ACADEMIC advising the government on coronavirus has said recent vaccine developments are 'exciting' and make it more likely there will be positive news from other candidates including the one from Oxford.

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of the government’s vaccine taskforce, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday: “It wasn’t certain until the Pfizer data came out last week that you could actually get a vaccine against this virus.

"On the back of those results, which were pretty powerful, I was expecting positive results from Moderna because the platform is much the same.

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"And I suspect it makes it more likely, although not certain, that some of the other vaccines, including the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, will have success in the coming weeks.

"So I mean that is the big news because we could have been waiting a very long time for an efficacious vaccine as we have in many other diseases, so that’s, I think, why it’s so exciting."

He added: “That’s sort of chapter one. We’re now on chapter two – we’ve got to get it out to people; we’ve got to get it distributed globally; we’ve got to make enough of it – nobody’s ever made this quantity of vaccine ever before. These are big challenges.”

Results from phase three of the Oxford vaccine trials are expected within weeks.