Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm said on Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 79.34% effective in preventing people from contracting the coronavirus. State-controlled company said it applied to regulators in China to allow widespread use of the vaccine.
Sinopharm’s results on Wednesday are lower than the 86% efficacy that the UAE reported for the vaccine in early December, but well above the 50% threshold required for a vaccine to be deemed effective by medical consensus.
The bucket has begun widespread distribution of the Sinopharm vaccine this month, and Bahrain, which also participated in Sinopharm’s phase III trials, also approved The Sinopharm candidate earlier this month.
Sinopharm did not explain the difference between its efficacy figure for UAE and its own, which was based on an interim analysis of data from Phase III clinical trials; the company Told Reuters he would release detailed results at a later date, but did not say when that would be.
The company has yet to receive government approval for the widespread use of its vaccine in China, but people in high-risk groups have received injections of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine since July under the Chinese emergency use program. Sinopharm said in November, about 1 million people in China received injections of its vaccine candidate as part of the emergency use program.
Sinopharm said it would be able to produce 1 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021. Unlike the main COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, Sinopharm’s vaccine does not require costly cold chain shipping networks, which means storage and distribution of Sinopharm’s vaccine will be cheaper and more accessible low- and middle-income countries.
Indonesia, for example, the fourth most populous country in the world, does not have the cold chain infrastructure necessary to store and distribute Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but it does at the technology required to distribute the vaccine from Sinopharm.
The UK on Wednesday became the first country in the world to to allow the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which, like Sinopharm’s vaccine, does not require cold chain storage and is therefore cheaper and easier to store and distribute than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
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