Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine has 91% efficacy, Turkey says


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Source: Nikkei Asia

Health minister says early results show Chinese-developed shot is ‘safe’

ISTANBUL — Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown an efficacy of 91.25% in Turkey, officials said Thursday, reporting the latest results of clinical trials of the Chinese-developed shot beyond China.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and professor Serhat Unal, a member of the government’s COVID-19 advisory board, reported the preliminary results of Phase 3 trials at a news conference in Ankara.

Unal added that the efficacy “is likely to increase” in the later stages of the trials, as the number of volunteers now administered a placebo is lower than the number of volunteers who have been administered the vaccine, known as CoronaVac.

Koca said: “We can easily say the vaccine is safe, and we can use it with ease.”

The news comes a day after Brazil’s Butantan Institute said CoronaVac’s efficacy is above the required 50% mark but postponed announcing full results of trials in the South American nation for up to 15 days, at the company’s request. Indonesia is also conducting Phase 3 trials of the Chinese-developed candidate.

As Turkey grapples with high daily numbers of new infections and deaths due to the coronavirus, the government sees the preliminary results paving the way for authorizing emergency use of the vaccine.

In Turkey, 7,371 volunteers have participated in the trials so far, and data from 1,322 volunteers was used in the efficacy study, according to Unal. Only three volunteers reported positive PCR tests for COVID-19 out of the 752 who had been administered CoronaVac. Just one of them showed mild symptoms.

Among the 570 volunteers who were administered a placebo, 26 later tested as positive for COVID-19. Clinical trials will continue until the study reaches 40 people showing positive PCR test results.

A safety study conducted on 2,964 volunteers showed that the vaccine is largely safe, producing a small number of people showing minor side effects like fatigue and headache. Only one volunteer developed a mild allergic reaction.

An initial 3 million doses of the Chinese-developed vaccine will arrive in Turkey on Monday, Koca said. Turkey has signed a contract with Sinovac to receive 50 million doses through the end of February.

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Categories: China, Turkey, Vaccine

4 replies

  1. Researchers in Brazil earlier this week delayed releasing complete information on Sinovac’s vaccine, saying only that it was found to be more than 50% effective. Sao Paulo state Health Secretary Jean Gorinchteyn offered more specific guidance on Thursday, saying the vaccine “didn’t reach 90%” efficacy, which would make it less successful than those developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

    “We don’t know how much more than 50% it was, whether it was 60%, 70% or 80%, but it’s at levels that allow us to reduce the impact of the disease on our population,” Gorinchteyn said in an interview with Brazil’s CBN Radio. “We knew that the effectiveness would never reach 90%.”

  2. Chinese vaccine producer Sinovac’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac shows 91.25 percent efficacy in Phase III clinical trials in Turkey, Turkish health ministry announced Thursday local time.

    The data could be increasing, and with the evaluations of the Scientific Committee, “we were sure of the effect of the vaccine. We are now confident that the vaccine is effective and safe for Turkish people,” Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at a press conference on Thursday.

    The result is an interim data, the Global Times learned from Sinovac.

    Turkey hopefully will receive the first shipment of CoronaVac vaccines on Monday. Chinese authorities have completed approval process for the vaccine doses that will be sent to Turkey, according to Koca.

    Earlier this month, Koca said the country had signed a contract to buy 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac.

    Turkey’s decision to purchase Chinese COVID-19 vaccines reflects its trust in China, and China is ready to provide necessary assistance to Turkey, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on December 14 during a phone call.

    Around 13,000 volunteers in Turkey participated in Sinovac’s Phase III clinical trials, according to Reuters.

    The first batch of 20 million doses of Sinovac vaccines is scheduled to be received in December and January. The second batch of 10 million doses will arrive in February.

    All the 50 million doses are scheduled to arrive in Turkey by the end of February, according to the press conference.

  3. BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Sinovac Biotech said on Monday that a clinical trial in Brazil showed its COVID-19 vaccine was almost 20 percentage points more effective in a small sub-group of patients who received their two doses longer apart.

    The protection rate for 1,394 participants who received doses of either CoronaVac or placebo three weeks apart was nearly 70%, a Sinovac spokesman said.

    Brazilian researchers announced last week that the vaccine’s overall efficacy was 50.4% based on results from more than 9,000 volunteers, most of whom received doses 14 days apart, as outlined in the trial protocol.

    The spokesman said a small number of participants received their second shot late due to a various reasons, without elaborating.

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