ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech is 83.5% effective based on final results from phase III trials, Turkish researchers said on Wednesday, a downward revision of a preliminary finding. 91.25%.
The final efficacy rate was based on 41 infections, 32 of which had received a placebo, said Murat Akova, director of the phase III trials conducted in Turkey.
The rate is based on participants who had at least one COVID-19 symptom 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 serious illness in 100% of cases, and said that the six people who were hospitalized were all in the placebo group.
“Because there were no major side effects (in the trial) … let alone the fact that this vaccine is being used widely in our country and no side effects were reported, we can comfortably say that it is safe,” he said. Serhat Unal. , member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Council.
Turkey had announced a preliminary result with 29 infections in December, putting the efficacy at 91.25%. Worldwide trials of the injection, called CoronaVac, have shown wide variations in efficacy rates, prompting some criticism.
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 in mid-September, Unal said.
Men made up 58% of the participants, all between the ages of 18 and 59, Unal said, adding that the two doses were administered 14 days apart, compared to 28 days from the nationwide launch.
Shortly after the publication of the preliminary results, CoronaVac received emergency approval from the Turkish authorities.
Turkey has already administered 9.32 million doses of CoronaVac nationwide in a campaign that began in mid-January. More than 2 million people have received two doses.
(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Dominic Evans)