Sinopharm Announces 79% Efficacy with China COVID-19 Vaccine

Kevin Kunzmann

Kevin Kunzmann is the managing editor for Contagion, as well as its sister publication HCPLive. Prior to joining parent company MJH Life Sciences in 2017, he worked as a health care and government reporter for The Pocono Record, and as a freelance writer for NJ Advance Media, The Express-Times, The Daily Journal, and more. He graduated from Rowan University with a degree in journalism in 2015. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, running his dog, and complaining about the Mets. Follow him on Twitter @NotADoctorKevin or email him at [email protected]

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.