Imperial’s COVID-19 vaccine trial: how will it work?


Dr Hannah Cheeseman breaks down some of the key questions surrounding Imperial's COVID-19 vaccine study, which launched last week.

Scientists around the world are racing to develop an effective vaccine against COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Among them are a team of Imperial researchers led by Professor Robin Shattock, who have now begun testing their candidate vaccine in humans for the very first time.

Following extensive pre-clinical safety tests and promising results in animal studies, the trial will test whether the vaccine is well-tolerated and produces an effective immune response against COVID-19 in humans, with 300 healthy participants set to receive two doses of the vaccine in the coming weeks.

Working at the centre of this effort is Dr Hannah Cheeseman. In her role as Head of the Core Immunology Laboratory, Dr Cheeseman is responsible for ensuring that high-quality data is obtained from trial participants and helping to assess whether the vaccine is working.  

In a new video interview, we asked Dr Cheeseman some of the key questions surrounding Imperial’s coronavirus vaccine:

  • How does the vaccine work?
  • What happens to the participants in the trial?
  • How would the vaccine be rolled out?
  • How will you know if the vaccine is working?
  • Is it safe to “fast-track” a vaccine?
The Imperial COVID-19 vaccine candidate
The Imperial COVID-19 vaccine candidate

For further information on the Imperial COVID-19 vaccine study, including how to take part, please visit the trial website.



Ms Genevieve Timmins

Ms Genevieve Timmins
Academic Services

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Research, Viruses, Immune-system, Global-health, Coronavirus, Infectious-diseases, Global-challenges-Health-and-wellbeing, Women-at-Imperial, Vaccines
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