Researchers in Brazil have released late-stage clinical data on the efficacy of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, which demonstrated the CoronaVac to be at 50.4 per cent.

This is lower than what the initially announced by researchers from Butantan Institute — at 78 per cent — last week.

Singapore and Malaysia, which have signed advanced purchase deals with Sinovac Biotech Ltd, are seeking more data from the firm before approving the supplies for distribution.

Singapore’s Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Wednesday (13 January) that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) will review the CoronaVac vaccine before rolling it out to public.

He said that the vaccine will have to go through regulatory scrutiny and authorisation adding that the vaccine has yet to be approved by the HSA.

On the same day, Malaysia’s Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin tweeted that China’s Sinovac Biotech procurement will go forward if it satisfies the protection and efficacy requirements of Malaysia’s health regulators.

Sinovac Biotech chairman Yin Weidong in a news conference on Wednesday defended the safety and efficacy of its vaccine, saying that these Phase III clinical trial results are sufficient to prove CoronaVac vaccine’s safety and efficacy around the world as reported by Reuters.

According to Global Times, researchers in Brazil concluded on Tuesday that Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine is 100 per cent effective in preventing severe and moderate infections, 77.96 per cent effective in preventing mild cases, and has an overall efficacy of 50.4 per cent.

Considering that all the trial participants in Brazil were high-risk medical workers, experts said that the result is “good enough”, noting that the efficacy of 77.96 for mild-case protection means that the vaccine will reduce the number of people in need of hospitalisation by 78 per cent.

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