China's Sinopharm says COVID-19 vaccine efficacy over 79 percent

The 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing

Pakistan has chose to pre-book a Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm for emergency use for healthcare workers, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination said on Thursday.

According to the BBC, Sinopharm, a state-run Chinese firm, is developing two COVID-19 vaccines.

Aside from the approved Sinopharm vaccine, China has four coronavirus candidates which have reached Phase 3 clinical trials - the last and most important step of testing before regulatory approval is sought.

"China's attention is not on 'vaccine race, ' let alone so-called 'vaccine diplomacy, ' but on the common interests of all humanity", the state-run Global Times said in a December 14 editorial.

Details about the efficacy of another Chinese vaccine candidate, made by Sinovac, a private Beijing-based vaccine maker, have also been released in a piecemeal fashion. By the end of November, more than 1.5 million doses of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines had been distributed for emergency use, and 60,000 vaccinated people have traveled overseas to high-risk regions, with no severe adverse reactions reported, Zeng said.

Chen Shifei, the deputy commissioner of China's Medical Production Administration, said at a news conference Thursday that the decision had been made the previous night.

Turkish researchers said on Thursday their interim results from a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech showed 91.25% efficacy, only to see a confusing readout the same day from Brazil, which said the vaccine's efficacy was between 50% and 90%. Regulators there said it was 86% effective. The go-ahead comes as the country carries out a campaign to vaccinate 50 million people before a major holiday for the Lunar New Year in February.

A Chinese pharmaceutical company said on Wednesday that an early analysis of clinical trial results showed that one of its coronavirus vaccines was effective, an announcement that sent a positive signal for the global rollout of Chinese vaccines but lacked crucial details. But if the vaccine wants to take a share in the global market, especially in developed countries, more data is necessary.

Sinopharm has another candidate, developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which is also in phase-three trials.

"I don't think the Chinese approval or the United Kingdom emergency use approval of their respective vaccines should be taken too seriously by third party countries, who will need to perform their own independent assessments". Officials did not say what percentage of the population they will vaccinate in China. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has received authorization in more than 40 countries.

Which countries have approved the Sinopharm vaccine for use?

The germ is then injected into the body to generate an immune response.

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