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Even with lower efficacy COVID vaccine can save lives, says expert

Even with lower efficacy COVID vaccine can save lives, says expert

THAILAND: Even if a COVID-19 vaccine proves to have a lower disease prevention rate in some trials, it could still save lives, a highly respected virologist said yesterday (Jan 14).

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By Bangkok Post

Friday 15 January 2021, 08:21AM


Dr Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, during his interview on the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand TV channel yesterday (Jan 14). Photo: Screenshot from the channel’s Facebook page.

Dr Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, during his interview on the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand TV channel yesterday (Jan 14). Photo: Screenshot from the channel’s Facebook page.

Dr Yong Poovorawan, chief of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, said vaccines for many diseases had low disease prevention efficacy rates, but could prevent illness and death.

He was speaking during an interview broadcast on the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) TV channel yesterday afternoon.

The interview followed reports that Brazil found the COVID-19 prevention efficacy rate of the Sinovac Biotech of China vaccine to be just 50.4%. The Thai government has ordered 2 million doses of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr Yong said Brazil trialled the vaccine on 10,000 medical workers who were always at high risk of infection. Naturally, efficacy rates were lower among at-risk people and higher among the general population, he said.

Sinovac’s vaccine showed disease prevention efficacy rates of 65% during its trial in Indonesia, 90% in Turkey, 86% in the United Arab Emirates and over 70% earlier in Brazil, when it was trialled in the general populace, not medical workers only, he said.

He insisted that he had no conflict of interest with any COVID-19 vaccine producer, and was not speaking in favour of the government.

The World Health Organization accepted any COVID-19 vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50%.

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Despite lower efficacy in disease prevention, medical authorities gave vaccines because they could prevent infected people falling ill and dying. About 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were used worldwide, Dr Yong said.

He also said it took at least five years to determine whether a new vaccine would be safe for general vaccination.

There were 10 COVID-19 vaccines that had been trialled for a few months and given to people for 3-4 months, and all manufacturers would have to continue studying the effects, Dr Yong said.

No one could now tell how long the effect of a COVID-19 vaccine would last, he said.

Vaccination for the time being was aimed at containing the pandemic crisis, he said.

He suggested the government acquire samples of COVID-19 vaccines it had already ordered for early trials with local people, to study their effects before accepting the ordered vaccines.

Dr Yong said he put out questionnaires through his social media account, and most of the 30,000 respondents said they were ready for COVID-19 vaccination.

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Capt B | 17 January 2021 - 02:14:49

Sinovac for The China Virus is all part of China's failed Belt & Road Initiative. The Trump Administration pumped Mills of USDs into the Moderna Vaccine & the MRNA Vaccine is over 92% effective. Given a choice, MRNA would be #1 & Pfizer #2. One can only take 1 vaccine that will be good for travelling worldwide. Think twice before you stick a needle in !

Kurt | 15 January 2021 - 11:25:02

When the efficacy of 1 vaccine is 50% of other vaccines, even not approved yet by FDA of the producing country (!), than that vaccine should at least 50% cheaper than other. But that will be dreaming in 'amazing Thailand'. There are commission 'rules'.

Sandbar | 15 January 2021 - 08:38:35

If I was going to spend the "people's money"...I think I would prefer a better return for my coin than fifty percent! A quick fix is not always the best fix. Always check the label before you buy! 

 

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