The trial of a new vaccine to stop the spread of Coronavirus has begun in the United Kingdom with volunteers being immunised.

So far, tests in animals suggest the vaccine was safe and triggers an effective immune response.

The trials are among many across the world and there are around 120 vaccine programmes underway. 

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London, the BBC reports.

After this first phase, another trial is being planned for October, involving 6,000 people.

The Imperial team hopes the vaccine could be distributed in the UK and overseas from early 2021.

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