CNBG vaccine efficacy rate boosts confidence
First Chinese producer to release trial results, files for market approval
Published: Dec 30, 2020 12:15 PM

File photo:VCG

Chinese vaccine producer Sinopharm announced an inactivated vaccine developed by its subsidiary China National Biotech Group (CNBG) has an efficacy rate of more than 79 percent, and confirmed they have officially filed for market approval with Chinese regulators. 

CNBG is the first Chinese producer to release interim results of Phase III clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, which will boost the international community as well as Chinese people's confidence in China's COVID-19 vaccines, experts said. 

Beijing Biological Products Institute under CNBG announced on its website on Wednesday that interim results of Phase III clinical trials on an inactivated vaccine it developed show the vaccine can trigger high-titer coronavirus antibodies after two injections.  

The vaccine shows a 79.34 percent efficacy and 99.52 percent antibody positive conversion rate, reaching the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Chinese authorities, according to the institute.

Chinese National Medical Products Administration rules that a vaccine must show at least 50 percent efficacy to get market approval.  

The vaccine also showed good safety after vaccination, its producers noted.

The institute said it has officially filed for market approval with Chinese vaccine regulators.  

Usually the efficacy rate of an inactivated vaccine is between 70-80 percent. An efficacy rate of 79.34 percent is fairly good, experts told the Global Times on Wednesday.  

China is experienced in developing and producing inactivated vaccines. While the country has launched various methods to develop COVID-19 vaccines, inactivated vaccines are a safe option that would most likely succeed, Tao Lina, a vaccine expert in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Wednesday.  

Tao noted that Chinese vaccines would embrace a large market as inactivated vaccines are easier to transport and the country has multiple products using different methods under development. 

China has launched five different technology methods to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Fifteen COVID-19 vaccines developed in China are in clinical trials, according to Chinese authorities.     

The Beijing institute's Wednesday announcement also boosted Chinese people's confidence in domestic vaccines. 

A woman surnamed Guo, 28, living in Shenzhen, told the Global Times that the announcement of the data makes her feel more assured about the vaccine's safety and she would probably get vaccinated after regulators approve the vaccine. 

According to a document circulating online alleged to be a recording of a video conference on the national disease prevention and control system held on December 15, China plans to vaccinate some 50 million people judged to be at high risk by February 5.

So far, at least 10 provinces in China, including East China's Jiangsu Province and South China's Guangdong Province, have officially announced a vaccination plan for local residents. 

CNBG has developed two inactivated COVID-19 vaccines, one by its Beijing institute and the other by its Wuhan institute. The two vaccines are undergoing Phase III clinical trials in more than 10 foreign countries. 

The Beijing institute's vaccine has been approved in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain earlier this month.