China’s Sinovac vaccine efficacy 83.5 percent: Turkish researchers
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech has an efficacy of 83.5 percent based on the final results of Phase III trials, Turkish researchers said on March 3, a downward revision from a preliminary finding of 91.25 percent.
The final efficacy rate was based on 41 infections, 32 of which had received a placebo, said Murat Akova, head of the Phase III trials conducted in Turkey.
The rate is based on participants who presented at least one symptom of COVID-19 along with a positive PCR test at least 14 days after the second dose of the vaccine, Akova said.
He added that the vaccine prevented hospitalization and severe illness in 100 percent of cases, saying the six people who were hospitalized were all in the placebo group.
Referring to the side effects of the vaccine, Akova said that symptoms such as fatigue, headache, fever, chills and diarrhea were seen, and the pain in the injection area of the placebo was slightly more in those who received the actual vaccine.
“Because there were no important side effects [in the trial]... let alone the fact that this vaccine is being used widely in our country and no side effect was reported, we can say comfortably that it is safe,” said Serhat Ünal, member of the government’s coronavirus advisory Science Board.
“I hope we will get a result soon for those over the age of 65. How many antibodies occurred in which one, I expect a result in this direction from the relevant units of the ministry soon,” Ünal added.
Noting that the vaccines have been tried against the mutated virus, but no results have yet been obtained, he stressed that the studies on this issue will be published soon.
Turkey had announced a preliminary result with 29 infections in December, which placed the efficacy at 91.25 percent.
The final results in Turkey were based on 10,216 participants, 6,648 of whom received the vaccine as part of the Phase III study that began mid-September, said Ünal.
Males made up 58 percent of participants, who were all between the ages of 18 and 59, Ünal said, adding that the two doses were delivered 14 days apart, compared to 28 days in the nationwide rollout.
Soon after the release of preliminary results, CoronaVac received emergency approval from Turkish authorities.
Turkey launched massive inoculations against COVID-19 on Jan. 14. More than 9.4 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine have been administered to the public, mostly health care workers and the elderly.
To date, over 7.1 million people have received the first dose of the jab while nearly 2 million people got both doses.