COVID-19 vaccine of Sinopharma remains active against S.Africa variant, effect reduced – lab study

FILE PHOTO: After the COVID-19 outbreak on September 5, 2020 in Beijing, China, a sign of the synovium has been seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). REUTERS / Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) – Two COVID-19 vaccines from Chinese companies, including Sinopharm, first increased immunity against a highly communicable coronavirus variant found in South Africa, but their effects appeared weak, a small-sample laboratory released on Tuesday The study showed.

Variants of the virus have expressed concern that they may weaken the effects of vaccines and treatments developed before their emergence.

Twelve serum samples taken from recipients of two vaccines, developed by a subsidiary of China’s National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and a unit of Chongqing Zhigi Biological Products, maintained neutralizing activity against the South African version. Said in a paper.

The paper was written by researchers at the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, affiliated with Sinopharma, which is co-developing a candidate with the ZIFEI unit and two other Chinese agencies.

However, the activity of the samples against the variant was weak against the original virus and another variant is currently spreading globally, ahead of its peer-review published on the website BioRxiv.

They stated that a decrease in activity should be taken into account for the clinical efficacy of these vaccines.

The Sinoform vaccine has been approved for general public use in China and is also used in many other countries including the United Arab Emirates. Zhifai Shot has been in late clinical trials in China and abroad.

Preliminary clinical trial data on Novacs Inc. and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also showed that they were significantly less effective at inhibiting COVID-19 in trial participants in South Africa, where the powerful new version is widespread.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Wu; Editing by Miang Kim and Simon Cameron-Moore