China backs down from comments questioning the effectiveness of local vaccines
The Chinese state media have gone on to defend the soon-to-be-developed coronavirus vaccines. A senior health official stressed that they were “misunderstood” when he questioned the effectiveness of the owners.
Gao Fu, head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the government was at a conference over the weekend considering mixing vaccines and different dosing regimens as a way to address the “not-so-effective” of existing owners. It was rare to officially acknowledge the difficulties in tackling China’s vaccination program.
But on Sunday Gao said his remarks were “taken out of context” and misunderstood.
“After talking about different vaccination strategies, I mentioned the issue of vaccine protection rates and stated that we can optimize our administrative process,” he told Guancha.com to a Chinese media outlet.
They have criticized Chinese vaccines that Beijing has pledged to supply to ten countries because of different rates of effectiveness. Some exceed the 50 percent efficiency of the World Health Organization, while developers have released phase 3 trial data.
Leading Chinese owners, a private company Sinovac and another from the state of Sinopharm, use well-established technology that injects the entire chemically inactivated virus to achieve an immune response. But research suggests that their effectiveness is below mRNA vaccines, such as those developed by Moderna or BioNTech / Pfizer.
Despite being a country, Chile has defended its decision to rely on the Sinovac vaccine reviving the struggles virus, despite having one of the highest per capita vaccination rates in the world.
Chilean Science Minister Andrés Couve Correa said on Twitter on Sunday that Sinovac had helped prevent hospitalizations for moderate and severe cases.
The Global Times, a state-run publication, has denied that Sinovac’s effectiveness rates are to blame for Chile’s infections. According to a study by the University of Chile, after the first of two shots of CoronaVac, the efficiency was found to be only 3 percent, based on “very limited” data, the newspaper cited an unnamed source.
But Hong Kong University virologist Jin Dong-yan said Monday that China’s vaccine effectiveness rates are among the lowest in the world.
“Chinese vaccines can provide some protection, especially to reduce serious illness and death, but it is difficult to get herd immunity,” he said. “Even if everyone in China gets vaccinated, it can only slow the spread.”
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China agreed with the publication of the results of the Phase 3 trials and the analysis of Sinovac’s Brazilian partners that matched its vaccine defense. It was the first time that the detailed details of the phase 3 trials of a Chinese vaccine were made public.
Data not yet to be analyzed by independent scientists are consistent with estimates of vaccine performance, with an overall efficacy rate of 50.7 percent above the WHO-recommended cut.
The researchers explained that the relatively low rate is due to research conditions among health care workers. “Case definitions and professional profiles of the study population allowed for highly sensitive surveillance and the investigation detected even the mildest cases of Covid-19,” they said.
The researchers added that the vaccine is “very protective” against moderate and severe Covid-19 and that its effectiveness rate has risen to 62.3 percent if there is a gap of more than 21 days between doses.
Additional news from Wang Xueqiao