coronavirus vaccine by Chinese company Sinovac

Turkey confirms Chinese vaccine is 83% effective

While Turkey still waits for Pfizer agreed doses, Chinese Sinovac’s vaccine is the only one available against the coronavirus in Turkey.

The Hacettepe University of Ankara, Turkey, announced yesterday that the Chinese vaccine against the coronavirus Sinovac, developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Biotech, with which the Turkish government has signed a contract for the acquisition of 50 million doses, has a proven efficacy of 83.5% against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which in the last 24 hours caused 11,520 new infections in the country.

In a statement, the university highlighted that the vaccine has proven to be “100% effective” in preventing hospitalizations due to the virus; in addition, during the tests carried out, no deaths from the vaccine have been registered and the side effects, although rarely existed, have been mainly fatigue in 9.8% of cases, and headache or muscle pain in even lower percentages.

During a press conference, Professor Serhat Ünal from Hacettepe University, also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council on Coronavirus of the Ministry of Health, explained that the tested effectiveness of 83.5% will be similar among those over 65 years of age. Regarding the differences in the efficacy tested in tests carried out in Brazil, experts consider that it is due to the differences in the tests and in the profile of the volunteers.

Regarding the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine against new variants of the virus, Ünal explained that tests have been carried out but that the results are still being analysed. “There is no doubt that this vaccine may be less effective against the variants, like the other vaccines, but this does not mean that we should stop vaccination,” he said nonetheless.

Maximum immunity is reached 14-28 days after 2nd dose

For his part, Professor Murat Akova, who conducted the tests on the Sinovac vaccine carried out in Hacettepe, declared during the same press conference that the tested efficacy was evaluated from the administration of two doses of the vaccine in an interval of 14 days. Akova added that the maximum antibody level in the body is reached 14 to 28 days after the second dose is given.

The Chinese vaccine against the Sinovac coronavirus was approved for emergency use at the end of 2020 by Turkish health authorities, and after being subjected to several tests, it was finally approved by Turkey, which since January 14 has already supplied it to more than 9.3 million of its citizens. It´s currently the only vaccine available in the Eurasian country, since Pfizer still has not supplied the doses agreed with the Turkish government.