Hong Kong University microbiologist Professor Yuen Kwok-yung said they hope to start clinical trials for a new nasal spray vaccine for Covid-19 in November.
Yuen, who is the chair of infectious diseases at the university's department of microbiology, made the comments after HKU announced that mainland authorities had given the go ahead for clinical trials for the nasal spray – which it has been developing with some mainland institutions.
Speaking on a Commercial Radio programme, Yuen said that the university has received funding of about HK$20 million from the authorities, and they hope to recruit about 100 healthy people in Hong Kong for the trials.
He said that vaccine development requires three phases of clinical trials, and after the launch of phase one this year, it will take about one more year at the earliest before the vaccine can be used.
HKU's State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases has been working on the vaccine with Xiamen University and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy.
Yuen said that since Hong Kong does not have its own facilities for developing vaccines, it needs to cooperate with the mainland.
HKU said their vaccine is so far the only nasal spray vaccine against the coronavirus to be approved by the National Medical Products Administration for clinical trials.