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Days before the global launch of Vacuna de Sinovac Biotech Ltd. With the live vaccination of the Indonesian president, uncertainty revolves around the effectiveness of the pioneering vaccine in China, for which four different protection ratios have been published in recent weeks.
Indonesia, which is moving with the fastest pace to distribute the Sinovac vaccine to its population, has reported that a local trial has shown 65% effectiveness against COVID-19. But only A total of 1,620 people in Indonesia participated in the trial, Very small sample to get meaningful data.
Turkey said last month that the vaccine itself had shown 91.25% efficacy in its domestic trial, which was also too small for a relevant result.
In Brazil, where the largest trial of Sinovac is being conducted with more than 13,000 people, various efficacy rates have been published. The company’s local partner in the trials, the Butantan Institute, reported last week that the vaccine was 78% effective in preventing mild cases of Covid-19 and 100% effective against severe and moderate infections.
However, this week a local news site reported that the “real” potency rate is between 50% and 60%, citing unknown sources. The Butantan Institute said it was “my guess” and it will release additional data on Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time that efficacy data has overlapped in the race to get a COVID-19 vaccine – AstraZeneca Plc introduced different protection rates based on different dosing regimens last month – and all results were well above the 50% effective threshold required by regulators for approval. on her.
However, the confusion, which comes at a time when many governments are committed to vaccinating their citizens with the Sinovac vaccine, generates doubts about the Chinese vaccines, for which little information has been released about the safety and trials of the major Western vaccines. The confusion over the data risks undermining confidence in the vaccines President Xi Jinping has promised to share with the rest of the world as a global public good.
“There is tremendous financial pressure and prestige pressure for the results of these experiments to be greatly exaggerated,” said Nikolai Petrovsky, a professor at Flinders University’s School of Medicine and Public Health.
“In many cases, these exaggerations are also politically motivated, as countries that have not been able to adequately control the epidemic now want to exaggerate the benefits of vaccines to gain votes and defuse local unrest.”
A Sinovac spokesperson declined to comment on its experience numbers in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia, noting that its Brazilian partner will release more data this week.
The data problem appears to be delaying regulatory approval for the Sinovac vaccine in some countries.