lørdag 16. januar 2021

Philippines and Indonesia back Chinese Covid jab despite efficacy doubts

Several countries in south-east Asia are expected to deploy the Chinese Sinovac vaccine despite concerns over its efficacy. Data released from a trial of the Sinovac jab in Brazil this week suggested its efficacy was 50.4% – lower than previously thought and only just above the requirement set by the World Health Organization.

Indonesia has ordered 125m doses from Sinovac and began its vaccination campaign with the president, Joko Widodo, receiving a jab live on television. The Philippines has signed a deal for 25m doses, while Myanmar has been promised a donation of vaccines by China. Thailand, whose biggest supplier is AstraZeneca, has ordered 2m Sinovac doses and hopes to start administering the first batch next month. Elsewhere, Turkey began administering the Sinovac vaccine to healthcare workers on Thursday after approving it for emergency use.

Health experts fear public trust has been undermined by a series of conflicting efficacy findings, and say a lack of data is hampering their understanding of how the vaccine works.