THE end of the coronavirus pandemic is finally in sight with news that Oxford University’s vaccine give 90 per cent protection from Covid-19.

The milestone announcement was made yesterday by the university team which has teamed up with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to roll out the jab.

Experts behind the Oxford study believe the best way to use the vaccine is by administering a smaller initial dose to ‘prime' the immune system before a second full dose to ‘boost it’.

A differing dosage pattern – with one full dose followed by another full dose – showed a 62 per cent efficacy.

The combined analysis from both resulted in an average efficiency of 70 per cent.

The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved by regulators.

In a press conference yesterday, Professor Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said it was a "very exciting day".

He said: “The findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.

“We have a vaccine that is highly effective – it prevents severe disease and hospitalisation.

“It is a very exciting moment for human health.”

Read more: Oxford scientists make high-fiving Gifs to celebrate

AstraZeneca plans to have 700 million doses of the jab globally by the end of March.

But other vaccines need to be approved if there is enough for the whole world, the experts said yesterday morning.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of Vaccinology at the university, said: “We’ve always said that we need multiple vaccines to work for the world because no developer can make enough.

“We’re not thinking about one person at a time. We have to think about vaccinating communities, populations, reducing transmission within those populations so that we can really get on top of this pandemic.”

During the overall trial, those given the vaccine were not hospitalised with coronavirus and there are no serious safety concerns relating to the vaccine.

In fact, Professor Pollard told reporters that it was ‘difficult to express’ how much time had been dedicated to follow up appointments with participants but if it was possible to add all the time together it would come to ‘about 6,000 years’.

However, it is not possible to know how long immunity will last with the vaccine because the virus has not yet mutated in obvious ways.

Professor Pollard explained: “The flu virus changes every year so that’s why we need a new vaccine every year. We don’t yet know if it will mutate, we didn’t see any evidence of that so it is something we will look out for.”

A Bicester family who all signed up for the trial in April say they have no regrets.

Oxford Mail:

Mum-of-four Katie Viney said: “It’s absolutely brilliant and we are really privileged to have taken part.

“We have all had two full doses of the placebo or vaccine, I think they introduced the half dose quite late – my participant number is 603 so I was quite early on.

“We’ve had absolutely no side-effects at all, not even redness or a flu-feeling. I would have the rest of my children vaccinated tomorrow.

Oxford Mail:

“I’m pro-vaccines, if the government suggests it’s a good idea.

“I see how my children have struggled and just want things to return back to normal. My son is doing his GCSE’s and it’s really hard and so strange. He might have to sit the exams after having just a third of the teaching.

“Our young people are sitting online learning and they are going to be paying for the stress for years and years to come.

“We’re absolutely glad we all signed up to help, it was Rhiannon’s idea.”

Boris Johnson said the news was ‘incredibly exciting’.

Oxford Mail:

Writing on Twitter, the Prime Minister – who visited the labs earlier this year – said: “Incredibly exciting news that the Oxford Vaccine has proved so effective in trials. There are still further safety checks ahead but these are fantastic results.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We have already secured early access to 100 million doses of their vaccine for use across the UK if approved – on top of the 255 million doses from other vaccine developers.

“Advances including rapid testing, new treatments and vaccines will help us get back to normal but, until then, we must all continue to take the necessary actions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, including following the Hands, Face, Space guidance.”

If the safety, effectiveness and quality are given the green light by regulators then the NHS will begin to roll out the vaccine, starting with those at risk, a government spokesperson confirmed.