I’m immensely proud of the connections Steppes Travel has created over thirty years. Each one echoes our passion for growth in different ways and shows our devotion to connecting people, communities, worlds.

Our Steppes Fund for Change partners and friends at The University of Oxford are at the forefront of global efforts in the battle against COVID-19. As well as their ongoing work on renewable energy, Oxford has lent their sprawling brainpower to understand the coronavirus and protect our communities, both in the UK and throughout the world.

They are driving forward research across a number of key areas including:

  • Drug development: researchers are developing new drugs to treat COVID-19, and testing existing drugs for effectiveness against the disease. They expect to see data from the first clinical trials start to inform patient treatment over the summer.
  • A vaccine: Oxford’s researchers responded immediately and have developed a promising and advanced COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The vaccine is now in clinical trials in the UK. They are also working to enhance their ability to manufacture and distribute a successful vaccine at scale.
  • The immune response/antibodies: They aim to define the nature of the human immune response to COVID-19 and provide evidence for therapeutic applications.
  • They are working with several European governments to explore the feasibility and ethics of a coronavirus mobile app for contact tracing. If rapidly and widely deployed, their infectious disease experts believe it could significantly help to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Find out more information about their work from the update below:

Interview with Prof Andrew Pollard

  • 00:00 Introduction​
  • 00:11 Who are the participants in the trial?​
  • 00:45 What are participants being vaccinated with?​
  • 01:22 Can participants get COVID-19 from the vaccine?​
  • 01:48 How is the vaccine made?​
  • 02:32 How have you started human trials for this vaccine so quickly?​
  • 03:42 Who is involved in this effort?​
  • 04:10 How long before we know the results?​
  • 04:32 What is the next phase of the trial?​
  • 04:58 How long do you think this vaccine might confer protection if it works?​
  • 06:09 Are you in a race with other groups developing vaccines?​
  • 06:55 Is the collaboration happening on this vaccine unprecedented?​
  • 07:48 How can people help?​

(Credit: University of Oxford)

The Oxford Vaccine Centre COVID-19 Phase I Clinical Trial Explained

Update July 2020

Since our campaign and virtual quiz night to fundraise for The University of Oxford Coronavirus Research we are pleased to announce the following update:

Thank you so much for your recent generous donation towards Oxford’s coronavirus research. We are so grateful for your kind support towards this important research, which is already showing some positive results.

Oxford’s scientific community has responded rapidly and more than 150 principal investigators and thousands of researchers are now working around the clock to find solutions to the crisis.

The work continues but there is still more to be done. Oxford’s scientists will not stop until they have the solutions needed to keep our communities safe, both now and for future preparedness and pandemic response.

Your kind support has been absolutely essential to enable us to carry this vital research forward, helping Oxford’s experts to respond with speed and flexibility in the ever-changing situation. We hope that we will soon have further positive results to share.

In recent news:

The vaccine work is progressing well and initial results show efficacy. You can keep up to date with progress at our vaccine microsite. Oxford has recently shared details of a study proving the efficacy of face-coverings for the general public and helping to bring about the change in guidance. Oxford’s Scientists have developed a rapid test which detects the presence of virus and could be adapted for use in many settings. It will cost no more than £20.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

Thanks for reading

Justin Wateridge

Author: Justin Wateridge