Indonesia followed 25,374 health workers in the capital Jakarta for 28 days after receiving their second dose and found that the vaccine protected 100% of them from death and 96% from hospitalization as early as seven days after, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said in an interview on Tuesday. The workers were followed until the end of February.
Sadikin also said that 94% of the workers had been protected from infection – an extraordinary result that goes beyond what has been measured in the numerous clinical trials of the shot – although it is not clear whether the workers have been consistently screened for asymptomatic carriers.
“We are seeing a very, very drastic decline” in hospitalizations and deaths among medical workers, Sadikin said. It is not known on which strain of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine worked in Indonesia, but the country has not reported any major outbreaks due to worrying variants.
The data adds to signs from Brazil that the Sinovac vaccine is more effective than it was proven in the testing phase, which was plagued by divergent efficacy rates and questions about data transparency. The results of its largest Phase III trial in Brazil put the vaccine known as CoronaVac’s efficacy at just over 50%, the lowest among all first-generation Covid vaccines.
In a separate interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Sinovac chief executive Yin Weidong defended the clinical data disparity around shooting, and said there was growing evidence that CoronaVac works best when it is applied in the real world.
Places that use Sinovac fire
But real-world examples also show that the Sinovac vaccine’s ability to quell epidemics requires that the vast majority of people be vaccinated, a scenario that developing countries with poor health infrastructure and limited access to vaccines cannot achieve. quickly. In the Indonesian health worker study and another in a Brazilian city of 45,000 called Serrana, nearly 100% of those studied were fully vaccinated, with serious illnesses and deaths decreasing after being vaccinated.
In contrast, Chile has seen a resurgence of the epidemic after vaccinating more than a third of the population of 19 million – one of the fastest rates in the world, but not fast enough to stop the spread. of the aggressive variant sweeping Latin America.
“The first group of people vaccinated in Chile are the elderly. Less than 15 million doses administered in Chile means that only 7 million people can get vaccinated. This equates to only 36% of a population of 19 million, ”Yin said. “It is normal for the country to see a resurgence of infections as social activities multiply among young people who are mostly unvaccinated.”
Of those vaccinated with CoronaVac in Chile, 89% were protected against severe Covid that requires intensive care, Yin said.
The protection of the vaccine is likely to vary from place to place due to the virus variants, but Sinovac’s vaccine appears to be resistant to the new mutations of concern, he said.
A key question for all Covid vaccines is whether they can prevent or deter actual transmission of the virus. Yin said Tuesday that Sinovac was not yet sure whether its vaccine – a traditional inactivated vaccine – could stop or reduce the contraction of the virus in the first place, but whether it prevents serious illness and death is more important.
The mRNA shot developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc. has been shown to be over 90% effective in preventing transmission in Israel.
While vaccines without mRNA are unlikely to be as effective in preventing transmission, the growing body of evidence that Sinovac’s vaccine works is a boon to China’s mission to supply the developing world with the aim of ” increase its influence and reputation. It’s also sort of a justification amid criticism that Chinese vaccine developers have disclosed less data and are less transparent about serious adverse events compared to Western companies.
“The results of a real-world application and the scientific data that we have from clinical trials will allow the world to fully judge our vaccine,” said Yin. “We encourage our partners and the governments of the countries where our vaccine is used to publish this data as soon as possible.”
Indonesia was one of the first countries to bet on a Chinese vaccine. In January, President Joko Widodo became the first great world leader to be shot by Sinovac in an attempt to quell skepticism at home and abroad. Since then, Southeast Asia’s largest economy has administered more than 22 million doses, mostly of Sinovac, as it seeks to achieve collective immunity for its 270 million people by the end. of the year.
“The minimum efficacy rate should be above 50%, so beyond that the best vaccine is the one you can get as early as possible, because each injection given can prevent deaths,” the minister said. Sadikin Health. “It’s not just about getting the highest efficacy rate, it’s about inoculating people quickly. “
As neighboring Malaysia and Thailand experience a resurgence in cases, Indonesia’s rate of new infections and deaths has stabilized from a January high. But with its massive population still unprotected, the upcoming Eid holiday could bounce cases up to 60% as people gather as families and return home despite government restrictions, Sadikin warned.
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