A vaccine candidate made by China’s Sinovac is 78 per cent effective in protecting against COVID-19, according to results of a study announced Thursday by Brazilian state health officials seeking federal approval of the shot.
More than 12,000 health workers participated in the study, which detected 218 cases of COVID-19 — about 160 of those among people who received a placebo rather than the actual vaccine.
Turkish officials last month said that a smaller, companion study in that country of the same vaccine candidate found an efficacy rate of over 90 per cent.
The government of Sao Paulo state, which has contracted for the vaccine, said it is asking Brazil’s federal health regulators for emergency approval to begin using it. Gov. Joao Doria plans to start a vaccination campaign for the state’s 46 million residents on Jan 25.
The health agency said in a statement that it has not yet received full data on the study.
The researchers reported no serious side effects in the study.
The US has required vaccine candidates to be tested in at least 30,000 people to determine safety and effectiveness.
The Sinovac candidate was ready for late-stage testing at a time when China had such little coronavirus spread that the company was forced to look to multiple locations abroad to amass the necessary data.