COVID-19 vaccine: Is the China manufactured Sinovac safe and effective?

THE first batch of China’s CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at around 9am yesterday.

The Sinovac vaccine is the second COVID-19 vaccine to arrive in Malaysia after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which arrived on Feb 21.

Despite vaccines deemed as the light at the end of the tunnel (to end the pandemic), many has raised concerns on the effectiveness and safety of this China made vaccine.

According to Cheras Columbia Asia Hospital medical officer Dr Malar Santhi Santherasegapan, clinical trials conducted in Brazil and Turkey indicated that the Sinovac vaccine efficacy level is at 50.4% and 91.2% respectively.

“People assumed that 50.4% of volunteers in Brazil who took the vaccine are healthy while another 49.6% experienced harmful side effects,” Dr Malar explained while appearing as a guest in a special programme streamed on Bernama TV Facebook in conjunction with the arrival of the Sinovac vaccine yesterday.

“However, 50.4% of people have successfully built immunity against COVID-19 and all of them are not infected or need intensive treatment and no one died.”

She also pointed out that there has been no data to support the claim that Persons with Disabilities (PwD) are at risk of experiencing side effects from any type of COVID-19 vaccines. Thus, she urged them to get vaccinated against the deadly virus.

In the same programme, University of Malaysia Faculty of Economics and Administration senior lecturer Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub commented that the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines would revive the country’s economy as many more people can now return to work.

Meanwhile, China had also reassured Malaysians that vaccine manufactured by the country is safe and effective as their government requires Chinese vaccine companies to promote vaccine research and development in strict accordance with scientific laws and relevant regulations.

“The phase three clinical trials of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine have been carried out in many countries with over 36 million of doses of the vaccine have been administered in China and abroad,” China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing assuring on the safety and effectiveness of Sinovac’s vaccine.

Besides that, Sinovac vaccine has been deemed halal by the Indonesian authorities.

Ouyang added that he hopes this information will infuse more confidence among the Malaysians who will be inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.

The 200-litre bulk consignment meant to be processed into 300,000 vaccine doses – the first batch of 14 million doses Malaysia is slated to receive from Sinovac –was flown in by MASKargo, operated by Malaysia Airlines Flight MH319.

The bulk supply, which would be filled and finished by Pharmaniaga Bhd into vaccine doses, is to immunise 22% of the Malaysian population. – Feb 28, 2021


Photo credit: Getty Images



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