Vaccine: Matt Hancock discusses ‘Covid vaccine passports’
The first Covid vaccines were administered to the public this week, as a 90-year-old woman was the first person in the UK to receive the highly-anticipated Pfizer/BioNTech jab. But there are other Covid vaccines in development, including the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Moderna vaccine. But what is the Sinovac vaccine?
Millions of people will be expecting to be vaccinated against coronavirus over the coming months.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for mass vaccination in the UK by the Government’s medicine regulator, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The first batch of vaccines arrived in the UK this week, with vaccinations starting on Tuesday December 8.
But what about China’s vaccine. What do we know about the Sinovac vaccine?
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What is the Sinovac vaccine?
China is also making giant strides in the race to provide an effective vaccine against Covid-19.
Chinese manufacturer Sinovac has developed its own vaccine, which has been dubbed ‘CoronaVac’.
Indonesia is reportedly close to approving the vaccine for mass distribution, with 1.8m doses expected to arrive by January.
But we’re still not any clearer on how effective the vaccine is.
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The vaccine itself uses an inactivated form of Covid-19, which is slightly different to the Pfizer jab.
CoronaVac uses partially-destroyed coronavirus particles which are, for all intents and purposes, dead.
After the immune system comes into contact with these particles, it starts to produce the necessary antibodies to protect against future infection.
Like the other vaccines in development, it will require two doses, and Sinovac will have the capacity to manufacture 300 million doses each year.
How effective is the Sinovac vaccine?
CoronaVac still hasn’t completed its stage 3 clinical trials, meaning there’s no official word on its effectiveness.
Scientists are currently only working from stage 1 and 2 clinical trials, which saw the vaccine inoculate a combined 744 people.
Based on the evidence, the vaccine should be “suitable for emergency use”, according to one of the scientists working on the trials, Zhu Fengcui.
The vaccine was later tested on more than 1,00 volunteers, with no more than five percent of patients developing minor side-effects – including fatigue and general discomfort.
“Based on the preliminary data, CoronaVac is likely an effective vaccine, but we do need to wait for the results of the phase three trials,” said Sinovac’s chief executive, Yin Weidong.
“These trials are randomised, observer-blind, placebo-controlled, with thousands of participants.
“This is the only way to prove a vaccine is safe and effective to be used at the population level.”
Sinovac is expected to reveal their stage 3 clinical trial results before the middle of December.
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