Sinopharm’s COVID-19 Vaccine Shows 86% Efficacy, UAE Health Agency Says
The efficacy rating followed an interim report of ongoing human trials conducted in that country, CNBC reported. Sinopharm, a business unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group, initiated a Phase III study in the United Arab Emirates in July. In August, the company reported the vaccine candidate triggered antibody-based immune responses in early and mid-stage trials. The vaccine was also demonstrating a strong safety profile.
Sinopharm’s vaccine was developed from a SARS-CoV-2 strain isolated from a patient in the Jinyintan Hospital, Wuhan. The virus was cultivated in a qualified Vero cell line for propagation, and the supernatant of the infected cells was inactivated with β-propiolactone, according to the researchers.
The Phase III study in the UAE includes 31,000 volunteers across 125 nationalities. Approximately 90% of the UAE population consists of expatriates, CNBC reported, citing the UAE health ministry. That diverse population was considered a benefit for the clinical study. Patients between the ages of 18 and 60 received two doses of the vaccine over 28 days. Sinopharm is conducting trials in the UAE, as well as Jordan and Egypt due to the containment of COVID-19 in China, the Financial Times reported.
As CNBC noted, the health ministry’s announcement was thin on details beyond the 86% efficacy rating. The government did not elaborate on trial parameters, including a breakdown of the number of patients who received the vaccine versus placebo. There was also no mention of any adverse events or side effects that are common with vaccinations, such as soreness in the arm where the shot was administered.
“The analysis also shows the vaccine to have 99% seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody and 100 percent effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease,” the ministry said in its release.
In September, the UAE greenlit the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use for healthcare workers battling the virus in that nation. In November, Sinopharm applied for authorization for use in China, despite the ongoing clinical trials, the Financial Times reported. According to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard, there are 180,150 reported cases of COVID-19 in the UAE and 598 related deaths. China, where the pandemic originated, has 93,886 reported cases and more than 4,700 related deaths.
In addition to testing the Sinopharm vaccine, the UAE is also looking for volunteers to test Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Reuters reported.