China's two vaccines found to be safe, effective against COVIDtext_fields
Two vaccines made by China's Sinopharm have appeared to be safe and effective against COVID-19, according to a study published in a prestigious U.S. medical journal.
The first time detailed findings from a late-stage trial of a Chinese shot have appeared in the scientific literature.
The report, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association on May 26 concluded the two vaccines are about 73 per cent and 78 per cent effective, as Sinopharm has previously claimed.
The readings were based on calculations over 142 symptomatic cases in a trial involving more than 40,000 participants, with 26 injected with the Wuhan unit's vaccine and 21 with the Beijing unit's shot, the report said.
Even though the vaccine is already being used in many countries, scientists had been waiting for more details about the two vaccines for a while.
One vaccine has recently won the backing of the World Health Organisation for emergency use.
The two inactivated vaccines developed by Sinopharm's vaccine-making unit China National Biotec Group Co. prevented symptomatic infections largely in line with what the state-owned drugmaker previously announced.
There's nothing very surprising. It's consistent with what they have claimed previously, but it does not completely eliminate the doubts about Sinopharm, said Jin Dong-yan, a medical professor at the University of Hong Kong who was not involved with the study.
The published study revealed some limitations in the vaccine trial. The testing was heavily skewed toward men, who accounted for nearly 85% of the participants. Less than 2% were aged 60 or older, and most were healthy. As a result, there is little evidence about the efficacy and safety among women, the elderly and those with underlying diseases.
The World Health Organization cleared one of Sinopharm's Covid shots earlier this month, paving the way for it to be more widely distributed around the world through the Covax facility that provides access to safe and effective vaccines.