THE first human trials for a potential covid-19 vaccine will start today, with side effects set to include "a fever, aches and pains".

Simeon Courtie, who is one of 500 human guinea pigs set to trial the possible coronavirus vaccine, said experts have warned participants they could get flu like side effects.

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Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the ex kids TV presenter said: "They think it will be somewhere along the lines of having flu.


"They don’t know, everybody’s different. You might just get very mild side effects but I think at worst, maybe a fever for a couple of days maybe some aches and pains – it shouldn’t be too disruptive to my life."

Simeon is one of 500 taking part in the trial, which begins at the Jenner Institute in Oxford today.

He is expected to get his first jab next Wednesday.

He said: "We are the safety part of this process to see if it’s safe and then after my trial there will be an efficacy trial out in the community to see whether it works. That will involve thousands of people."

Participants will undergo a series of jabs determined by the test group they are put in during the trial.


They will not know whether their group has been given the coronavirus vaccine or not.

Simeon explained: "It is a blind trial, you don’t know which group you are in. There’s no placebo group, where they just give you something that’s nothing.

"They either give you the new vaccine which they are developing or a vaccine which has already been licensed and being used.

"It’s the vaccine that teenagers get to protect them against meningitis and the side effects of that vaccine are very similar to the side effects of the new vaccine."

Professor Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the Oxford trials, says she is "80% confident" the vaccine her team is developing could be ready by September.

Scientists in Oxford have set a target of one million doses of the vaccine by September.

As well as the Jenner Institute in Oxford, Imperial College London, Bristol Children's Vaccine Centre and University Hospital Southampton have advertised for people to take part in trials as the world races to find a vaccine for the deadly virus.

And volunteers are being offered up to £625 to take part in the trials.

Healthy volunteers aged 18-55 are being sought for the trials, which are expected to last six months, with Imperial's trials set to begin in June.

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