Chinese scientists working on a COVID-19 vaccine have told Sky News they are “99%” sure it will be effective.
Sinovac, a Beijing-based biotech company, currently has its coronavirus vaccine in stage 2 trials, with more than 1,000 volunteers participating. Sky News is the first British broadcaster to visit its labs.
The company also said it is in preliminary talks to hold stage 3 trials – the final part of the trials process – in the UK.
Sky News asked Luo Baishan, a researcher at Sinovac, whether he thought the vaccine would be successful.
“Yes, yes. It must be successful… 99% [sure],” he replied.
Last month Sinovac published results in the academic journal Science which showed the vaccine, called CoronaVac, protects monkeys from infection by the coronavirus.
The biggest problem the company faces is the low number of COVID-19 cases in China, which makes testing the vaccine in an epidemic situation difficult. As a result, the company is looking further afield for stage 3 trials.
Helen Yang, senior director of investor relations, told Sky News: “We are speaking to several European countries and I think did discuss with the UK as well.
“Currently it’s a very preliminary stage for the discussion.”
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