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. – A leading Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech was only 50.38% effective in late-stage trials in Brazil. That’s a significantly lower percentage than previous results showed, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Sao Paulo government.
While the number exceeds the required threshold for regulatory approval, it falls well below the previously announced 78%, raising questions about the veracity of the data and fueling skepticism about the apparent lack of transparency regarding Chinese vaccines.
Analysts said that the efficacy rate of Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine in Brazil, the lowest among its global competitors, could affect international confidence in vaccines made in China and hamper Beijing’s effort to repair its image of its mishandling. early in the initial outbreak by providing covid-19 vaccines for developing countries.
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«The Butantan Institute and the Government of Sao Paulo report that the coronavirus vaccine achieved an overall efficacy rate of 50.38% in the clinical study conducted in Brazil, in addition to (an efficacy rate of) 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases of covid-19. All rates are higher than the 50% level required by the WHO (World Health Organization), ”said the statement released Tuesday.
The narrow scope for regulatory approval is likely to raise concern among scientists, given that last week the Butantan Institute released partial ‘clinical efficacy’ results celebrating 78% to 100% efficacy in preventing infections.
The state agency financed phase 3 of the vaccine trials, in which 13,000 health workers participated in eight Brazilian states.
“Regarding the overall efficacy of the analysis, we met the requirements of the World Health Organization with 50.38%,” Ricardo Palacios, medical director of clinical research at the Butantan biomedical center in Sao Paulo said Tuesday during a conference press.
However, on Tuesday, senior members of the Brazilian Ministry of Health told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that “effectiveness is at the limit” and because “it is at the limit. We have to wait for ANVISA (Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency) to evaluate it ».
A representative for Sinovac said the company is discussing the result, but declined to comment further. The final efficacy rate of the vaccine will be determined by China’s drug regulator, the National Medical Production Administration, according to the representative.