Sinovac’s COVID Vaccine Highly Effective Against Serious Diseases

A study conducted by Malaysia found Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine to be highly effective against serious disease, although Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines showed a higher level of protection.

Health officials, Thursday (23/9), said a study conducted by the Malaysian government found 0.011% of the approximately 7.2 million Sinovac vaccine recipients required treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) for COVID-19 infection.

In contrast, 0.002% of the approximately 6.5 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine recipients required ICU care due to COVID-19 infection, while 0.001% of the 744,958 AstraZeneca vaccine recipients required similar treatment.

Kalaiarasu Peariasamy, director of the Institute for Clinical Research which carried out the study together with the national COVID-19 task force, said vaccination – regardless of brand – had reduced the risk of ICU admission by 83% and lowered the risk of death by 88%. The fact was obtained based on research involving about 1.26 million people.

A health worker injects a woman with a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine during mass vaccination at a zoo in Surabaya on September 13, 2021. (Photo by JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP)

A health worker injects a woman with a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine during mass vaccination at a zoo in Surabaya on September 13, 2021. (Photo by JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP)

“The breakthrough rate for intensive care unit admissions is very low,” he said, adding overall ICU admissions among fully vaccinated individuals stood at 0.0066%.

The mortality rate of fully vaccinated people is also low, at 0.01% and the majority of them are over 60 years old or with comorbidities.

According to Kalaiarasu, there are demographic differences between the recipients of the three vaccines and these factors can give different results.

Many AstraZeneca recipients are in “middle adulthood”, while Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines are “more or less administered to vulnerable populations,” he said.

AstraZeneca vaccine recipients also accounted for a much smaller proportion of the study, which involved approximately 14.5 million individuals who were fully vaccinated and carried out over five months from April 1.

In July, Malaysia said it would stop administering Sinovac’s vaccine once supplies run out, as the country has enough other vaccines for its vaccination programme.

The Sinovac vaccine has been widely used in several countries including China, Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil. The company said earlier this month it had supplied 1.8 billion doses at home and abroad. [ah/rs]

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