COVID-19: Sinovac Defends Efficacy of CoronaVac
By Ahmed Rahma
A Chinese biopharmaceutical company, Sinovac Biotech Ltd, which developed the controversial COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac, has defended the efficacy of the drug after confusing data.
The producer of the jab, which has been purchased by not less than 17 countries, said the vaccine was more effective in preventing the disease if the two-dose regime is administered over a longer period of time. The CoronaVac has been rolled out in Indonesia, Brazil and others despite inconsistent data readouts.
In a written response to Bloomberg, Sinovac said nearly 1,400 of 13,000 people who took part in clinical trials of CoronaVac received their doses three weeks apart, while most of the volunteers in the Brazil-based trials got the second jab two weeks after the first.
The protection rate for the smaller group was nearly 20 percentage points higher than the 50.4 per cent rate observed in the majority, the vaccine’s producer said.
The comments come after CoronaVac delivered vastly different efficacy rates in four clinical trial sites, fueling concerns over whether the vaccine that’s key to the inoculation campaigns of some of the world’s COVID-19 hotspots will be effective in stemming outbreaks.
However, more countries announced they would purchase CoronaVac or start mass inoculations using the Chinese drug, as senior officials of various countries stressed the safety of the vaccine despite some Western media questioning their efficacy and safety.
On Wednesday, the Health Minister of Turkey, Fahrettin Koca received the first dose of the CoronaVac vaccine live on television, becoming the first person in Turkey to receive the vaccine.
Afterwards, the country agreed to purchase 50 million doses of the jab and has received delivery of an initial 3 million doses.
Also, Indonesian President, Joko Widodo received the first dose of CoronaVac on Wednesday live on television.
According to the Indonesian Ambassador to China, Djauhari Oratmangun, in an interview with Global Times, Indonesia already began mass vaccinations on Wednesday.
Speaking, Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, praised Chinese-made vaccines, saying they are as good as the shots developed by the Americans and the Europeans.