Growing uncertainty over efficacy of China made Sinovac

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NEW DELHI: Uncertainty is on the rise over the efficacy of the Sinovac produced in China.

The Sinovac allegedly has shown four different efficacy rates during clinical trials ranging from over 91 to 50 per cent. The global scientific community is still sceptical about its use.

In Indonesia President Joko Widodo on Wednesday received the Chinese made vaccine on Live television. Turkey conducted a local trial of Sinovac but pool was small.

Sinovac has been found to be 50.4% effective in Brazilian clinical trials, according to the latest results released by researchers. It shows the vaccine is significantly less effective than previous data suggested – barely over the 50% needed for regulatory approval, BBC reported.

Last week researchers at the Butantan Institute, which has been conducting the trials in Brazil, announced that the vaccine had a 78% efficacy against “mild-to-severe” Covid-19 cases.

But on Tuesday they revealed that calculations for this figure did not include data from a group of “very mild infections” among those who received the vaccine that did not require clinical assistance. With the inclusion of this data, the efficacy rate is now 50.4%, said researchers, reported BBC.

In a report CNN claimed that analysts said the efficacy rate of Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine in Brazil — the lowest among its global competitors — could affect international confidence in Chinese-made vaccines and hamper Beijing’s effort to repair its image from its early mishandling of the initial outbreak by providing Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries.

On Tuesday, high-ranking members of the Brazilian Health Ministry told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that “the effectiveness is borderline,” and that because “It is at the limit. We have to wait for ANVISA (Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency) to evaluate.”

Sinovac has signed deals to provide 46 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to Brazil, 50 million doses to Turkey and 7.5 million doses to Hong Kong. It’ll also supply 40 million doses of vaccine bulk — the vaccine concentrate before it is divided into vials — to Indonesia for local production, according to the CNN report.

A senior official in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China that had already ordered CoronaVac, said on Wednesday that an advisory panel would strictly review the vaccine based on clinical trial data before it was rolled out there, according to a New York Times report.

“If we are not satisfied with the safety and efficacy, we will not go through with the procurement,” Malaysian Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Twitter. Malaysia is still in talks with Sinovac for orders.

A Sinovac spokesman declined to comment on the numbers from its trials in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia.

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