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Turkey to receive 3 million doses of the Chinese vaccine; Brazil increasingly skeptic about CoronaVac effectiveness.

Image Credit: CFP

On Thursday, Dr. Serhat Unal, a health expert in the Turkish medical board announced that the Chinese experimental vaccine developed by the Sinovac Biotech has shown an efficacy of 91.25% in the initial results of the late-stage trials. Unlike Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, Sinovac vaccine is an inactivated vaccine. This means that unlike Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, a virus will be delivered to the vaccine receiver, but the virus is inactivated and therefore would not pose any danger of infection for the receiver. This type of vaccine is technically a historically proven approach as most vaccines use this approach.

On Monday, Turkey will receive the first shipment of three million doses of the Chinese vaccine, CoronaVac. Initially, the vaccine was planned to be received after December 11, but due to permit problems, the vaccine delivery was delayed. Turkey will receive a total of 50 million doses of the vaccine. The country also has deals with other companies for the vaccine. Turkey’s Health Minister, Fahrettin Koca, said that they were close to an agreement with Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine. If the agreement goes through, Turkey will receive around 4.5 million doses by the end of March, which could be increased to 30 million doses if required. Turkey is the seventh worst hit country in the World, by the number of cases. Since the pandemic began Turkey reported 2,100,712 cases and 19,115 deaths.

The Chinese vaccine, CoronaVac did not produce the same results in Brazil, and based on trial data it showed to be more than 50% effective according to Brazilian researchers. Brazilian Health regulator Anvisa said that the vaccine is at least 50% effective. Sao Paolo Health Secretary Jean Gorinchteyn said that if the vaccine’s effectiveness is more than 50%, they will celebrate since World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine efficacy threshold is 50%. Unfortunately, full results of the trial were withheld by the company. The release of the results for the late-stage trial of CoronaVac was delayed three times in Brazil, raising skepticism about the vaccine’s real effectiveness. Recently, a poll showed that half of Brazilians would not take the Chinese vaccine. Brazil is the second worst hit country in the World by the number of cases. Brazil reported 7,374,775 cases and 189,419 deaths since the pandemic began.

The Chinese vaccine will also be supplied to Indonesia, Chile and Singapore. Sinovac Biotech is also in talks with Malaysia and Philippines.

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