A vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready as soon as September, according to a professor from Oxford University in Britain.
Sarah Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology and says that she is "80% confident" a coronavirus vaccine being developed by her team will work.
Her team is part of a global effort to find a vaccine for coronavirus, which has killed more than 100,000 people around the world according to Johns Hopkins University.
Professor Gilbert has said that human trials are set to take place within the next fortnight, and that she has been working seven days a week to get a vaccine rushed through.
She told The Times newspaper in the UK: "I think there's a high chance that it will work based on other things that we have done with this type of vaccine.
"It's not just a hunch and as every week goes by we have more data to look at. I would go for 80%, that's my personal view."
She added that having something ready by the autumn is "just about possible if everything goes perfectly", but warned that "nobody can promise it's going to work".
Earlier in the week, researchers at Southampton University said they had discovered that the virus has "low shielding", meaning a vaccine could be easier to develop.
Irish patients are also taking part in a clinical trial, led by St Vincent’s University Hospital, as part of global research efforts to tackle the pandemic.
The Health Research Board (HRB) has said it is mobilising "rapid support" for a clinical trial among Irish patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU).
The trial is enrolling COVID-19 patients on island of Ireland, and will test interventions for coronavirus in critically ill patients.
It will also capture the outcomes and analyse data across an international network in a global effort to reduce the impact of the virus in intensive care settings.
The international network involves research teams in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK.
However, despite the optimism, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously said it could take up to a year before a vaccine is available.
A number of vaccine trials have started in various parts of the world, especially in China.
The WHO itself has began 'solidarity trials' - which means a range of countries coming together to test four different drug combinations.
Late last month Dr Michael Ryan, head of the WHO's Emergency Health Programme, said: "We are talking a least a year, but that doesn't mean that we're helpless.
"We can do a lot to stop this disease right now, and we can save a lot of lives right now.
"We will work hard on the vaccines, the vaccines will come, but we need to get down and do what we need to do now".
Additional reporting: IRN