The Sinovac COVID 19 vaccine has finally been confirmed to be efficacious against COVID 19 in adults amid rising worry over the limited data available on its safety. Developed by Sinovac Biotech in Beijing, the vaccine was declared effective by the World Health Organization.
Trials in five countries.
WHO’s SAGE (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts) studied the vaccine from stage 3 clinical trials in 5 countries: Brazil. Chile, Turkey, Indonesia, and China. SAGE experts expressed low confidence in results released by a state-owned pharmaceutical firm, Sinopharm, concerning adverse effects from the Sinovac vaccine.
The new announcements on the Sinovac assessment data were part of SAGE’s April 29 meeting. The group is, however, unauthorized to make decisions on licensing of vaccines. As a result, the vaccine has been used in 32 countries, with upwards of 250 million doses produced.
In the 35 million doses of the vaccines administered in China, there were 49 cases of adverse effects. These cases included instances of a cerebral hemorrhage. However, there was no clear link between the episodes and the vaccine.
SAGE proceeds to declare on the WHO website that two doses of the vaccine is efficacious in preventing COVID 19 in adults aged between 19 and 57. Their assessment also acknowledged discrepancies in pregnant women and clinical protection in those with existing conditions, senior citizens, and the appraisal of uncommon adverse effects observed after post-authorization safety monitoring.
The experts expressed a moderate confidence level that the vaccine would have low risks of adverse effects in individuals aged below 57. They also noted a low confidence level in the reports presented that the risks were low for individuals aged above 59. They also expressed low confidence in the evidence that suggested that people with comorbidities were at higher risk of a severe bout with COVID 19 after taking both jabs of the Sinovac vaccine.
Other WHO experts reviewed the vaccine last week for potential listing as a WHO emergency vaccine. If approved, it will be ready for use in the international COVAX sharing platform.