Brazil researchers report disappointing 50.4% efficacy for China's CoronaVac vaccine

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac showed 'general efficacy' of 50.4% in a late-stage trial in Brazil, researchers said on Tuesday, barely enough for regulatory approval and far short of earlier indications. The latest results are a major disappointment for Brazil, as the Chinese vaccine is one of two that the federal government has lined up to begin immunization during the second wave of the world's second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

Reuters January 13, 2021 00:14:13 IST
Brazil researchers report disappointing 50.4% efficacy for China's CoronaVac vaccine

Brazil researchers report disappointing 504 efficacy for Chinas CoronaVac vaccine

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac showed "general efficacy" of 50.4% in a late-stage trial in Brazil, researchers said on Tuesday, barely enough for regulatory approval and far short of earlier indications.

The latest results are a major disappointment for Brazil, as the Chinese vaccine is one of two that the federal government has lined up to begin immunization during the second wave of the world's second-deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.

The letdown after a more promising partial data disclosure last week may also contribute to criticism that vaccines developed by Chinese manufacturers are not subject to the same public scrutiny as U.S. and European alternatives.

Last week, the Brazilian researchers had celebrated results showing 78% efficacy against COVID-19 cases, a rate they have since described as "clinical efficacy."

Ricardo Palacios, medical director for clinical research at the Butantan biomedical center in Sao Paulo, said the new figure included infections classified as "very mild" because they did not require clinical assistance.

Researchers at Butantan delayed announcement of their results three times, blaming a confidentiality clause in a contract with Sinovac.

In the meantime, Turkish researchers said last month that CoronaVac was 91.25% effective based on an interim analysis. Indonesia gave the vaccine emergency use approval on Monday based on interim data showing it is 65% effective.

Butantan officials said the design of the Brazilian study, focusing on frontline health workers during a severe outbreak in Brazil and including elderly volunteers, made it impossible to compare the results directly with other trials or vaccines.

Still, COVID-19 vaccines in use from Pfizer Inc with partner BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc proved to be about 95% effective in preventing illness in their pivotal late-state trials.

The disappointing CoronaVac data is the latest setback for vaccination efforts in Brazil, where more than 200,000 people have died since the outbreak began - the worst death toll outside the United States.

Brazil's national immunization program currently relies on CoronaVac and the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc - neither of which has received regulatory approval in Brazil.

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa, which has stipulated an efficacy rate of at least 50% for vaccines in the pandemic, has already pressed Butantan for more details of its study, after it filed for emergency use authorization on Friday.

AstraZeneca failed to deliver active ingredients to Brazil over the weekend, leaving the government scrambling to import finished doses of the vaccine from India to begin inoculations.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Brad Haynes and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Australia to bring forward COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans
World

Australia to bring forward COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans

By Renju Jose SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will bring forward its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans by two weeks to early March, health authorities said on Wednesday as the country seeks to contain fresh cases in its two largest cities. Australia has repeatedly resisted pressure to expedite its vaccination distribution timetable, citing low coronavirus cases in the country though new clusters in Sydney and Melbourne have sparked fears of a wider outbreak

Trump signs order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps including Alipay
World

Trump signs order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps including Alipay

By Alexandra Alper and David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Ant Group's Alipay, the White House said, escalating tensions with Beijing before President-elect Joe Biden takes office this month. The order, first reported by Reuters, tasks the Commerce Department with defining which transactions will be banned under the directive and targets Tencent Holdings Ltd's QQ Wallet and WeChat Pay as well.

North Korea's Kim says economic plan failed as rare party congress begins
World

North Korea's Kim says economic plan failed as rare party congress begins

By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his five-year economic plan had failed to meet its goals "on almost every sector" as he kicked off the ruling Workers' Party congress on Tuesday, state media KCNA reported on Wednesday. The rare political gathering, which Kim last hosted in 2016, has drawn international attention as he is expected to unveil a new five-year economic plan and address foreign policy, just two weeks before U.S