At least three months needed to prove vaccine for 2019-nCoV effective: expert

A staff member disinfects public seats at a community in Haidian District in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)

HANGZHOU, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — It will take at least three months to prove a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is effective, renowned Chinese epidemiologist Li Lanjuan said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

“As of Wednesday, we have isolated five strains of the virus, two of which are very suitable for vaccine development,” Li said.

Chinese health authorities announced Thursday that 7,711 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Wednesday. A total of 170 people have died of the disease.

The nation is currently experiencing the peak period of confirmed cases. With prevention and control measures in place, the number of future infections will be significantly reduced, said Li, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who heads the State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.  ■