China Covid vaccine indicates rapid immune response within 4 weeks: study

A man works in the laboratory of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, developing an experimental vaccine.

Singapore / Beijing:

Synovac Biotech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac, triggered an accelerated immune response, but the level of antibodies produced was lower than those who recovered from the disease, preliminary testing results showed Wednesday.

Although the first mid-term trials were not designed to assess the effectiveness of Coronavac, the researchers said it could provide adequate protection, based on their experience with other vaccines and data. preclinical studies on macaques. .

U.S. drugmakers Pfizer and Morden, along with Russia, warmed up this month’s study on optimistic news that their experimental vaccines were 90% effective based on provisional data from a large trial of advanced stage.

Coronavac and four other investigational vaccines developed in China are currently in late trials to determine their effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Synovac’s results were published in a peer-reviewed article in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Disease, which included more than 700 participants in first and second stage clinical trials in China.

“Our results suggest that Coronavac is able to induce an accelerated antibody response within four weeks of vaccination, by administering two doses of the vaccine at an interval of 14 days,” said Zhu Fengkai, one of the authors of the article.

“We believe this makes the vaccine suitable for emergency use during an outbreak,” Zhu said in a statement released alongside the newspaper.

The researchers said the results of larger and advanced studies or third-stage trials would be important in determining whether the immune response evoked by Coronavac was sufficient to protect people against coronavirus infection.

Synovac is currently conducting three Phase III trials in Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey.

The results should be interpreted with caution until the results of the third phase are published, said Nor Bar-Zeev, a professor at Joss Hopkins University who was not involved in the study.

“But even then, after the completion and clearance of the Phase III trial, we have to be wisely cautious,” he said.

‘Attractive option’

Coronavac is one of three experimental COVID-19 vaccines used by the China Emergency Use Program to immunize hundreds of thousands of people.

Two other vaccines in the Chinese emergency program, both developed by institutions affiliated with Sinopharma, and Cancino Biologics <6185.HK> Another vaccine has also been shown to be safe and elicits immune responses in early and intermediate testing, based on peer-reviewed articles.

Gang Zeng, a Synovac researcher involved in the Coronavac study, said the vaccine could be an attractive option because it can be stored at a normal refrigerator temperature of 2-8 ° C (36 ° -46 ° F) and is stable from above. Can. three years.

“(This) will provide some benefit for distribution in areas where access to refrigeration is difficult,” the author said.

The vaccines developed by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna use a new technique called synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) to activate the immune system against viruses and require a remote cold room.

Pfizer vaccine should be stored and transported at -70 ° C, although it can be stored for up to five days in a communal refrigerator or up to 15 days in a thermal shipping box. The modern candidate should remain stable for 30 days at normal refrigerator temperature, but will need to keep it at -20 ° C for storage for six months.

Coronavac is also being considered for vaccination by Brazil and Indonesia in the coming months.

Indonesia has requested emergency clearance to launch a mass vaccination campaign by the end of the year and is expected to be used in the early stages of the vaccination campaign produced by Synovac and Chinese Sinopharm.

Sao Paulo of Brazil also plans to deploy Coronavac in early January and has entered into a supply agreement with Synovac.

“The excellent safety of Coronavac, compared to other vaccines in development, allows better acceptance by the population,” said Ricardo Palacios, director of trials at the Biomedical Center of the Butanton Institute, Brazil.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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