Chinese vaccine test results delayed
Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac will reportedly delay releasing the results from its various COVID-19 vaccine trials until January.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Sinovac’s vaccine, CoronaVac, had recently reached phase three trials in Brazil, where it had been shown to be more than 50 percent effective at preventing the coronavirus.
However, the Journal reported this week that Sinovac asked the Butantan Institute, the Brazilian research center that has been testing the vaccine, to delay releasing results for another 15 days as it compiles data from other trials in Indonesia and Turkey.
“There can’t be three efficacy results for the same vaccine,” said Dimas Covas, Butantan’s director, according to the Journal. According to Covas, the delay has nothing to do with the efficacy of the vaccine, which is expected to be among the first authorized for use in Brazil.
Luiz Carlos Dias, a member of the COVID-19 task force at University of Campinas in Brazil, told the newspaper that it is frustrating, because CoronaVac “is the only vaccine we have at the moment on Brazilian soil.”
“I’m worried that perhaps the efficacy rate is not so high after all,” Dias said.
Other experts who spoke to the Journal remained optimistic though, believing the delay had more to do with contractual obligations than with the results.
Researchers had hoped the Chinese vaccine would show similar results as candidates created by Pfizer and Moderna, which both had efficacy rates of about 95 percent. Though he was unable to release the results, Covas said the efficacy rate of Sinovac’s vaccine was high enough that it would likely be approved by regulators.
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