Chinese Covid-19 Vaccine Far Less Effective Than Initially Touted in Brazil  01/12/2021 21:49:00  2  Samantha Pearson Close Samantha Pearson Biography [email protected] , Luciana Magalhaes Close Luciana Magalhaes Biography @luciwsj [email protected] and Chao Deng Close Chao Deng Biography @chao_deng [email protected]

As wealthier countries buy up supplies of Western drugmakers Covid-19 vaccines that are still in development, China and Russia are offering their fast-tracked shots to poorer nations. Heres what they are hoping to get in return. Illustration: Ksenia Shaikhutdinova (Originally published Oct. 14, 2020)

SO PAULOChinas effort to boost its image by providing Covid-19 vaccines to the developing world suffered a setback after one of its leading inoculation candidates turned out to be 50% effective in late-stage trials in Brazil, significantly lower than earlier results showed.

While Sinovacs CoronaVac efficacy rate still meets the 50% threshold the World Health Organization considers good enough for widespread use, scientists said a lack of transparency about the data risks damaging the credibility of a vaccine Brazilians and others world-wide are already reluctant to take.

Brazils Butantan Institute, a So Paulo-based public institute that is the first to complete late-stage trials of the CoronaVac vaccine, had said last week that it was shown to be 78% effective and offer total protection against severe cases of the disease.

But after rising pressure from Brazilian scientists, some of whom accused the trials organizers of misleading the public, Butantan said Tuesday those rates only included volunteers who suffered mild to severe cases of Covid-19. When data from all volunteers was consideredincluding those who contracted very mild cases of Covid-19 and required no medical assistancethe total efficacy rate fell to 50.4%, Butantan said.

Sinovac didnt respond to requests for comment.

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