Researchers have found that the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac is as low as 50.4%.
In a rare acknowledgment of the weakness of China’s coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official said their effectiveness was low and the government is considering mixing them to strengthen their efforts. strong for them.
The director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, said at a conference on Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, the Chinese vaccine “does not have a very high rate of protection”.
Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses in other countries.
“It is currently under official consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different engineering lines for the vaccination process,” Gao said.
The efficacy rate of the coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac, a Chinese developer, in the prevention of symptomatic infections found by researchers in Brazil is as low as 50.4%. By comparison, the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech has been shown to be up to 97% effective.
Beijing has yet to approve any foreign vaccines for use in China, where the coronavirus appeared in late 2019.
Gao did not detail possible changes to the strategy but did mention mRNA, an experimental technique previously used by some Western vaccine developers while drug manufacturers of China uses traditional technology.
“Everyone should consider the benefits that the mRNA vaccine can bring to mankind,” Gao said. “We have to watch it carefully and not ignore it just because we already have some vaccines.”
Gao has previously raised questions about the safety of the mRNA vaccine. The Xinhua News Agency quoted him in December as saying he could not rule out negative side effects because they were used for the first time in healthy people.
Chinese state media and popular health and science blogs have also questioned the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which uses mRNA.
As of April 2, about 34 million people had received two doses of the vaccine requested by China and about 65 million people had received one dose, according to Gao.
Mixing vaccines, or sequential vaccinations, can increase the rate of effectiveness, experts say. Trials around the world are looking at mixing the vaccine or being repeated over a longer period of time.
Researchers in the UK are working on a possible combination of the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines.