A vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready in six months. According to Oxford professor Sarah Gilbert, her team has developed a vaccine that has the potential to protect people against the deadly disease, and it could be available for use by September.

Gilbert is leading a team of researchers in developing a coronavirus vaccine, which has infected more than 1.7 million and killed more than 100,000 across the globe since January. While there is no guarantee yet that their vaccine will work on COVID-19, Gilbert said she is “80 percent confident” that it will.

“I think there’s a high chance that it will work based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine,” she said. “It’s not just a hunch and as every week goes by we have more data to look at,” she added.

Previously, medical experts said it could take up to 18 months for a coronavirus vaccine to be developed and distributed globally. However, Gilbert and her team are determined to expedite the process by allowing volunteers from places with no imposed lockdown measures to become infected naturally with the disease.

“If one of those places turns out to have a high rate of virus transmission then we will get our efficacy results very quickly, so that is one strategy for reducing the time,” said Gilbert. “Total lockdowns do make it harder. But we don’t want herd immunity either. We want them to be susceptible and exposed for the trials purely to test the efficacy,” she added.

According to Gilbert, having a working vaccine available by September is possible if everything goes perfectly in the coming months. While her team has yet to conduct the clinical trial process, they are already in talks with the government about starting production of the vaccine before the final results become available.

Meanwhile, other experts have expressed confidence in the Oxford team’s vaccine. Brendan Wren, professor of microbial pathogenesis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, described the Oxford team as among the most advanced in the world.

“This means that they can test and evaluate COVID-19 vaccine candidates rapidly. A strong vaccine candidate available by September would not be surprising,” he said.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Laboratory Test, Cure, Vaccine Andressa Parreiras, Biomedic, and Larissa Vuitika, biologist, work in a laboratory during the extraction of the virus genetic material on March 24, 2020 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The Ministry of Health convened The Technological Vaccine Center of the Federal University of Minas Gerais laboratory to conduct research on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to diagnose, test and develop a vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health, as of Tuesday, March 24, Brazil has 1.891 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and at least 34 recorded deceases. Pedro Vilela/Getty Images