The two COVID-19 vaccines developed by the Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical group, Sinopharm, successfully contained the viral infection, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has confirmed.
According to a study published in JAMA, more than 40,000 volunteers from the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt participated in the phase-III clinical trials organized to determine the efficacy and safety of the two-dose Sinopharm’s vaccines WIV04 and HBO2.
The volunteers were divided into three groups. Two groups were given either of two vaccines three weeks apart while the third group received a placebo shot.
Two weeks after the booster dose, only 26 people who received WIV04 developed COVID-19 infection and 21 people who received HBO2 suffered COVID-19 while 95 people who received placebo shot became infected with COVID-19.
Sinopharm’s vaccine manufacturing unit, China National Biotech Group, has developed both inactivated vaccines which prevented symptomatic COVID-19 infection by 72.8% and 78.1%, according to the JAMA study.
Sinopharm had initially submitted the data of the phase-III clinical trials of its two COVID-19 vaccines to JAMA on 17 March. JAMA accepted the paper for publication on 12 May.
There were some limitations in the clinical trials as well. Almost all of the volunteers were healthy with no underlying disease. Men accounted for 85% of the volunteers and less than 2% of volunteers were aged 60 years or above.
Therefore, the efficacy and safety of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccines among women, the elderly, and those with underlying diseases remain unclear for now.
Nonetheless, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved one of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccines earlier this month, enabling it to be distributed widely worldwide under the COVAX facility.
Chinese COVID-19 vaccines have become an integral part of immunization campaigns across the world. However, Chinese vaccine manufacturers, including Sinopharm and Sinovac, have also faced strong criticism for not sharing adequate data about the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.
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