Researchers in the United Kingdom are not able to agree on when they think a coronavirus vaccine will be available, but they seem optimistic one will be developed. "This means that, if the vaccine is successful, Astra Zeneca will work to make up to 30 million doses available by September for the United Kingdom, as part of an agreement to deliver 100 million doses in total", he explained.
Halton told reporters there is a "reasonable chance" of developing a Covid-19 vaccine because - although 94% of vaccine candidates fail - there are 130 groups working on the problem worldwide.
"Most importantly that means bringing down the infection rate - and that can only be achieved if we continue to obey the rules on social distancing to help stop it spreading".
And even though Australia has a local manufacturer - CSL - it may not be able to produce some of the new MRNA and DNA vaccines against coronavirus because it does not have the technology to do so.
"The speed at which Oxford University has designed and organised these complex trials is genuinely unprecedented", he said.
However if the search for a vaccine was not successful, he said they were also looking at other drug treatments and therapeutics, with six drugs having entered initial live clinical trials.
Progress with the vaccines was discussed by the secretary during Downing Street's daily briefing on Sunday, in which it was confirmed that Oxford University have finalised a licensing agreement with pharmaceutical company, Astra Zeneca.
"CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) was set up exactly for that goal - to really encourage a global, collaborative effort for dealing with pandemics, and particularly and specifically in relation to vaccine development", he said.
The Business Secretary said: "To further support our domestic manufacturing capabilities last month, I announced the Government would accelerate building the UK's first vaccines manufacturing innovation centre, which is based at Harwell in Oxfordshire".
And Dr Katrina Pollock, the principal investigator for the COVID-19 vaccine trials at Imperial College London, told LBC that was a very ambitious timeline.
While Sharma said that the trials are progressing well, he was quick to add that: "There are no certainties".
"We are still living through this pandemic and there will be lessons to be learned", he said. However, these plans are still contingent upon the successful development of vaccines later this year.
The UK is investing in a "rapid deployment facility" that should be ready to start making coronavirus vaccines this summer, according to the government.