Two Chinese-manufactured vaccines have shown to be over 70% effective in preventing COVID-19, according to a study Wednesday in a prestigious American medical journal.
Researchers published their findings from the late-stage trials involving two vaccines from state-run pharmaceutical company Sinopharm in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Both shots were made with the same technology but different ingredients, and were developed separately by the company’s laboratories in Beijing and Wuhan.
“(The) vaccines significantly reduced the risk of symptomatic COVID-19, and serious adverse events were rare,” the study said.
The shot developed by the Beijing lab has shown to be about 78% effective in preventing symptomatic coronavirus infections, and the one from Wuhan was 72% effective, according to the study. The results are the first data from large-scale human trials involving Chinese COVID-19 vaccines to be vetted by independent experts and published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The JAMA study included results from several clinical trials involving some 40,000 participants in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. About 26,000 participants received vaccines made in either Beijing or Wuhan, while the rest were given a placebo.
The efficacy of the vaccine from Sinopharm Beijing was consistent with data the World Health Organization reviewed earlier this month. The WHO had approved the Beijing-developed vaccine for emergency use on May 7, while the shot from the Wuhan lab received the green light for public use in China on Feb. 25.
According to the researchers, 84% of the participants in the JAMA study were men, while over 98% of them were 18 to 59 years old. The clinical trials included only around 600 individuals aged 60 or older, who tend to be at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 or dying from the disease.
Last month, another COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese manufacturer Sinovac released detailed data from its late-stage trial in Brazil in a preprint paper that has yet to be peer-reviewed. The study showed the shot to be around 50% effective in preventing symptomatic infections.
China has approved five domestically manufactured coronavirus vaccines for emergency or public use. As of Wednesday, the country had administered over 560 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines — the most in the world — and is aiming to inoculate 40% of its population by the end of June.
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: A medical worker holds a vial containing a dose of a Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Belgrade, Serbia, Jan. 19, 2021. People Visual)