BEIJING (Reuters) – Different results of effectiveness for a Chinese vaccine COVID-19 launched separately in China and the United Arab Emirates are real and valid, an official with the China National Biotec Group (CNBG) told state media.
China approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for general public use on Thursday, an injection developed by a Sinopharm affiliate, after the developer said the vaccine showed 79.34% effectiveness based on an interim analysis of final clinical trials.
That rate is less than the 86% rate for the same vaccine reported by the United Arab Emirates on December 9.
Countries have certain differences in their standards and procedures in diagnosing patients, and the final results of identifying the COVID-19 case were different, Yang Xiaoming, chairman of the Sinopharm unit’s CNBG, told the Global Times, a tabloid published by People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China.
“So there were differences between the comprehensive data from several countries that we analyzed and the protection rate data previously assessed by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain,” said Yang, according to the Global Times, in a report published on Thursday.
“But these two results are real and valid,” said Yang, without offering any further details about the data.
CNBG did not participate in the analysis or review of clinical trial data released by regulators in countries where its vaccine was being tested, said Yang.
The vaccine, developed by the CNBG unit, the Beijing Biological Products Institute, along with another candidate from a CNBG unit based in Wuhan, is being tested in Phase III clinical trials outside China.
The tests for CNBG candidates recruited more than 60,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 60, said Yang.
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill)