Researchers at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London and working on a project to create a vaccine for the disease.
But the race for a coronavirus vaccine is on - and one group of scientists is hoping to get it done in a matter of months.
Sharma announced greater funding for those searching for a vaccine. "This deal with [the British-Swedish drugs firm] AstraZeneca means that if the Oxford University vaccine works, people in the United Kingdom will get the first access to it, helping to protect thousands of lives", Sharma told reporters on Sunday.
UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma has announced a global licensing deal clinched between Oxford University and the pharma giant AstraZeneca, which is part of the government's £130 million ($157 million) plan to provide at least half of the British population with the COVID-19 vaccine.
No Australians will be forced to vaccinate against coronavirus when a shot becomes available, deputy chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said.
"My gut feeling is that we will start to see a number of candidates coming through with good evidence early towards next year - possibly something this year - but they won't be readily available for wide scale use into the beginning of next year as the kind of most optimistic estimation".
Business Secretary Alok Sharma revealed to the daily briefing that a deal had been confirmed for the commercialisation and manufacturing of the vaccine now being trialled at Oxford University.
Researchers working towards a Covid-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom will receive £84 million in funding, business secretary Alok Sharma has announced.
However, Professor Robin Shattock, head of mucosal infection and immunity at Imperial College London, said he thought a vaccine was not likely to be widely available until next year.
"The speed at which Oxford University has designed and organised these complex trials is genuinely unprecedented". "With Government support, the University of Oxford has finalised an agreement with AstraZeneca for the globalisation and manufacturing of the Oxford vaccine".
A doctor working on the coronavirus vaccine has told LBC the jab is unlikely to be ready by September.
Now under construction, the center would have the capacity to manufacture enough vaccine doses for the entire United Kingdom population under a timeframe of six months.
The daily United Kingdom figures for confirmed cases is 3,534, with the United Kingdom total of laboratory confirmed cases now standing at 243,695.
"The centre, which is already under construction, will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire United Kingdom population in as little as six months".