The China-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine was found to offer 83.5% protection against symptomatic COVID-19, according to the interim phase 3 trial results from Turkey. The findings, which appeared in The Lancet, also pointed out that the vaccine offers 100% protection against being hospitalised with COVID-19.
The 2-dose vaccine had shown an efficacy rate of 50.4% for preventing symptomatic infection, according to data from a Brazilian trial, and an effectiveness of 67%, according to a real-world study in Chile. It was also for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the WHO on June 1.
The latest phase 3 trial was a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial involving 10,029 participants in Turkey, who received either two doses of CoronaVac 14 days apart or a placebo. The scientists said that the primary aim was to find if the vaccine could prevent COVID-19 confirmed by a PCR test at least 14 days after a participant’s second vaccination.
The research found that the vaccine offered 100% protection against hospitalisation due to COVID-19 and that only six people were hospitalised with COVID-19 in the placebo group, and no one from the vaccine group was hospitalised.
Prof Murat Akova from the Department of Infectious Diseases in Ankara, Turkey, said: “Our results show that CoronaVac has high efficacy against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and [hospitalisation], along with a very good safety profile in a population aged 18–59 years.”
However, the authors noted the limitations of their research, that the small number of people hospitalised makes the estimate of the true impact on hospitalisations uncertain. “This analysis involved a young and low-risk population and a very short follow-up period, and therefore further data is needed.”