The CoronaVac vaccine of China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is wiping out Covid-19 among health workers in Indonesia, an encouraging sign for the dozens of developing countries reliant on the controversial Chinese shot, which performed far worse than western vaccines in clinical trials,
Indonesia tracked 128,290 health workers in the capital city Jakarta from January to March and found that the vaccine protected 98% of them from death and 96% from hospitalization as soon as seven days after the second dose, Pandji Dhewantara, a Health Ministry official who oversaw the study, said in a press conference.
Dhewantara also said that 94% of the workers had been protected against symptomatic infection - an extraordinary result that goes beyond what was measured in the shot’s numerous clinical trials. Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin earlier revealed a smaller version of the study involving 25,374 people in an interview with Bloomberg that had the same effectiveness data for hospitalization and infection. Protection against death was 100% in the smaller group.
“We see a very, very drastic drop,” in hospitalizations and deaths among medical workers, Sadikin said. It’s not known what strain of the coronavirus Sinovac’s shot worked against in Indonesia, but the country has not flagged any major outbreaks driven by variants of concern.
The Indonesian study compared vaccinated against non-vaccinated people to derive the estimated effectiveness. The median age of the participants is 31 years old.
In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Sinovac’s chief executive officer Yin Weidong defended the disparity in clinical data around the shot, and said there was growing evidence CoronaVac is performing better when applied in the real world.