As of this morning – Thursday June 25 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has reached 306,862 with 43,081 deaths.

Imperial College London's experimental COVID-19 vaccine has been given to the first healthy volunteer at a facility in West London.

In the trial, around 300 people will be given the vaccine plus a booster shot up to four weeks after the first dose.

If is shown to be safe and effective in inducing a promising immune response in humans, larger trials of the vaccine will be planned for later in the year.

"We have reached a significant milestone in this ground-breaking study with the first dose of a self-amplifying RNA vaccine delivered safely,” said Dr Katrina Pollock, from Imperial’s Department of Infectious Disease and Chief Investigator of the study.

"We are now poised to test the vaccine in the dose evaluation phase before moving forward to evaluating it in larger numbers.”

Imperial recently formed a new social enterprise, VacEquity Global Health (VGH), in partnership with Morningside Ventures, to accelerate the development of vaccines and widen their global distribution.

Imperial and VGH will waive royalties and charge only modest cost-plus prices in the UK and low-income countries abroad, to 'sustain the enterprise’s work, accelerate global distribution and support new research'.