Thursday, June 3, 2021

172 Million Cases and Sinovac Gets WHO Approval

172 million cases worldwide and yes, the pandemic is still going strong. Desperate countries are increasingly turning to vaccination to achieve herd immunity, Malaysia included. 

It is timely, therefore, that the World Health Organization have approved the Sinovac vaccine – also referred to as CoronaVac – for emergency use. It is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light, after Sinopharm. 

In fact, a study in the Brazilian city of Serrana, some 315km (195 miles) from São Paulo, saw good outcomes that suggest the pandemic can be controlled after 75% of people are fully dosed. 

The vaccination program was carried out between February and April 2021 by Instituto Butantan, which produce the said vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech. 

When 95% of adults were fully vaccinated, they said the results showed that: 

  • Deaths fell by 95% 
  • Hospitalizations fell by 86% 
  • Symptomatic cases fell by 80% 

Ricardo Palacios (right), research director at Butantan, said the key figure was the 75%. 

"The most important result is that we can control the pandemic without having to vaccinate the whole population", he asserted. 

Indeed, WHO are hoping that the decision to list the Chinese vaccine for emergency use will give a boost to the COVAX initiative, which has been struggling with supply problems.

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