Synovac vaccine is 78% effective in Brazilian testing, experts call for more details

SAO PAULO (Reuters) —a coronavirus vaccine developed by Synovac Biotech of China, was 78% effective in a late Brazilian trial of no serious COVID-19 cases, researchers said Thursday, though data for greater transparency There is a lack of call due to lack of details.

A medical worker takes a box of synovac vaccines against coronovirus disease (COVID-19) from a refrigerator at a community health center in Qingao, Shandong Province, China, January 5, 2021. Picture taken on January 5, 2021.

The test results, a closely watched epidemic by developing countries to help initiate large-scale vaccinations for vaccines, were below preliminary findings from Turkish researchers and detailed data available on US and European vaccines Was lacking

The research and production partner of Synovac, director of the Brazilian Biomedical Center Butanon, said detailed results are being submitted to the health regulatory investigator as requested by the emergency use of the vaccine.

“One thing is a presentation at a news conference. It is something else to get the data and analyze it, which is what the investigation will do, ”said Christina Bonorino, who sits on the Scientific Committee of the Immunology Society of Brazil. “If that’s what they say, it’s an excellent result,” she said.

Brazil and Indonesia, which have the most COVID-19 cases in Latin America and Southeast Asia, are preparing to roll out a vaccine called Coronavac, respectively, this month. Turkey, Chile, Singapore, Ukraine and Thailand have also affected supply deals with Synovac.

Although Coronavac’s efficacy is lower than the 95% success rate of vaccines from Modern Ink or Pfizer Inc. with partner BioNtech SE, it is easy to transport and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.

Given the immediate need, the 78% efficacy rate is also well above the 50% to 60% benchmark set by global health authorities for early development in the epidemic.

Modern and Pfizer / Bioentech released detailed results of late phase tests last year, before obtaining emergency use authorization in the United States and elsewhere.

Butanon director Dimas Kovas told a news conference that full Coronavac data would be released in an unspecified scientific publication, but did not provide a timeline.

Pressed by reporters, Kovus said there were 218 COVID-19 cases in the trial of 13,000 volunteers. He said that more than 160 of these cases occurred among participants who received placebo and the rest were among vaccinated volunteers.

Unlike other studies of the vaccine, the Brazilian Coronavac trial involved elderly volunteers, particularly vulnerable populations.

Kovus said that Coronavac had completely prevented the vaccination group’s severe COVID-19 cases, including the elderly. He said that none of those who received the vaccine were ill enough to be hospitalized.

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The piecemeal disclosure of results from global Coronavac studies has given rise to concerns about the transparency of the tests, which was not helped by Buten’s news conference.

“It was not clear or transparent,” said Denise Garrett, an epidemiologist who worked 23 years at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “They presented mild cases, severe ones, and secondary outcomes when hospitalized, but not efficacy in preventing the disease.”

A partial disclosure by Butanan, which delayed its announcement three times, citing obligations to Synovac, expressed doubts about the Chinese vaccine in Brazil. About half of Brazilians said they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China, according to a December survey.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed disdain for the Synovac vaccine, citing doubts about its “origin”. He has done business with political rival João Doria, the governor of São Paulo, financing the trial and production of the shot.

Nevertheless, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuelo said on Thursday that the federal government will buy the entire production of Coronac’s Butanon this year, a deal to buy 100 million doses for a national immunization program.

Brazil has the second deadliest outbreak in the world after the United States, with 200,000 passing deaths on Thursday, and aims to vaccinate 51 million people, or one-quarter of its population, in the first half of 2021. [nL1N2JI32B]

Vaccination has not started yet. Doria reiterated that São Paulo, the country’s most affluent and populous state, hopes to begin vaccination on 25 January.

Coronavac can be stored at a temperature of 2–8 ° C (36 ° –46 ° F) and remain stable for three years, based on traditional vaccine techniques using inactivated coronaviruses to trigger an immune response. Can.

Vaccines given by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna use a novel synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) technique that requires more cold temperatures for shipping and storage. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine should be kept at a sub-Arctic temperature, making it an ineffective option in poor countries and without the necessary cold storage devices.

Reporting of Eduardo Symmesical Reporting by Julie Steinhuisen, Ana Mano, Anthony Budley, and Beijing Newsroom by Brad Haynes, Miyong Kim and Bill Burcott.


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