A student returning to the UK from China has taken an untested £50 coronavirus vaccine that has not completed its clinical trials.

Evelyn Wu is preparing to return to Birmingham University in January, where she is studying economics.

She heard about an available Covid-19 vaccine in China, and went to the hospital in the city of Yongkang, eastern China, to register last Monday. Two days later she had an appointment to have the vaccine administered.

Ms Wu said: "I needed to sign some contract. It has the details about Covid-19.

"And it told me that it's very safe, even though it's only stage three.

"I felt excited actually. It's just like a normal vaccine."

Ms Wu signed a form acknowledging that she might experience some mild symptoms and received the first of two doses of the vaccine.

She will pay a total of 456 RMB – about £52.

The vaccine is made by Sinovac, a Beijing-based biotech firm. It is still carrying out late stage trials in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia and has said it could publish preliminary stage three trial data in November.

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Phase three of clinical trials assess the side effects of drugs while pharmaceutical companies look to confirm and expand on safety and effectiveness.

Ms Wu added: "Yes, I'm a little worried about (it being) experimental stage three.

"And I think I was the one who was the test subject, the one who was treated like a little mouse.

"I trust China and I think it's totally safe to get vaccinated. I trust the government.

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"Some doctors and teachers refused to take the vaccination. They think it's dangerous because they think it's being tested."

She said she has felt no side effects to date besides a little sleepiness. Ms Wu will have her second dose of the vaccine in November.

The hospital will not monitor her directly but she has been told to visit immediately if she develops any symptoms.

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Starting in July, thousands of employees from Chinese state-owned enterprises have already been vaccinated ahead of foreign travel.

This new campaign is extending that offer to the general public in a handful of towns and cities for local residents aged 18 to 59.

Ms Wu said her mum is happy she has taken the vaccine, adding: "She thinks I am brave. I make an example for others.

"Because there is an old saying: 'The first one to eat the crabs is the most brave.'"

A number of countries in the industrialised world are working to develop coronavirus vaccines, including the UK.

On Sunday SAGE scientist Sir Jeremy Farrar revealed his belief that there would be more than one available by early 2021.

And the UK is pushing ahead to be the first nation to carry out "human challenge" studies where up to 90 healthy people will be deliberately exposed to Covid-19.

It is hoped this will speed up the race to produce a vaccine.

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