Sinopharm Announces 79% Efficacy with China COVID-19 Vaccine

Though regulatory authorization has not been granted, the company intends to vaccinate up to 50 million people prior to the Lunar New Year.

A Chinese coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine has shown 79% efficacy in preventing the virus based on interim phase 3 trial data, according to the state-controlled manufacturing company Sinopharm.

The new report of promising efficacy accompanies a statement from Chinese authorities that they intend to begin vaccination of citizens without government authorization or regulation.

Though Sinopharm has filed a regulatory application with the country’s regulators for broad use, they expressed intent to vaccinate 50 million people in China by mid-February—just prior to the Lunar New Year holiday.

As reported by The New York Times, Sinopharm’s statement on the interim data and intent to vaccinate ran only a few sentences long, and did not entail any information on the phase 3 trial setup, the vaccine’s safety outcomes, or even the vaccine’s makeup.

In fact, the announcement was quickly likened to that of the Russia COVID-19 vaccine shared this summer, in which the government and Gamaleya Institute experts announced authorization of a vaccine for public use prior to any published phase 3 data nor details on the product.

Non-randomized, phase 1/2 data for the two-part recombinant human adenovirus type 26 and type 5 vaccine was shared by investigators a month later, however.

Sinopharm has been behind the development of at least 1 other COVID-19 vaccine, and has been involved the inoculation of at least 1 million people in China so far. Criticism on the practice highlighted the minimal monitoring of persons post-injection.