Adrian Hill, director of Oxford's Jenner Institute, said that an upcoming trial, involving 10,000 volunteers threatened to return "no result" due to low transmission of COVID-19 in the community.
"We have to run as fast as possible before the disease disappears so we can demonstrate that the vaccine is effective".
A prospective COVID-19 vaccine that will soon be tested on Canadians has been found to be safe and effective at prompting an immune response.
Oxford University said on Friday it is recruiting thousands of volunteers for the next phase in human trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it says are "progressing very well".
A COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the USA pharmaceutical company Moderna has been much talked about in recent times. AstraZeneca is aiming to produce 30 million doses by September if the trials are successful. It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time.
The University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and the Oxford Vaccine Group began developing a COVID-19 vaccine, officially known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, that was taken from chimpanzees in January, according to Sky News.
He penned an op-ed in the Washington Post about Moderna's claims earlier this week that its vaccine has seen favorable results in its trial. If fewer than 20 test positive, the results may be useless, the newspaper cited him as saying. We're still in business, I can tell you that. The Phase III study is powered to assess how well the vaccine works to prevent people from becoming infected and unwell with COVID-19.
The company said that it had received financial support of more than $1 billion from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARD) for the development, production, and delivery of the said vaccine.
It's a process that could take anywhere between two and six months depending on the number of people exposed to the virus.
Meanwhile, the head of the Gavi vaccine alliance said the first signs of the effectiveness of a vaccine may be available only in the autumn, forecasting a long road from there to broad availability.
Hill was keen to warn that despite vast global investment in the project, funding "doesn't guarantee the result", adding that "it could be nothing or could be great or somewhere in between".
The company thanked the U.S. and United Kingdom governments for their "substantial support to accelerate the development and production of the vaccine".