Disappointing Chinese Vaccine Results Pose Setback for Developing World - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

Political issues in the People's Republic of China.

Moderator: PoFo Asia & Australasia Mods

Forum rules: No one-line posts please. This is an international political discussion forum moderated in English, so please post in English only. Thank you.
#15149493
In less than a year we are about to see the 3rd major geopolitical reversal in the (soft) power balance between East and West.

After the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spread from China's Wuhan across the World during the Spring of 2020, in part due to the lack of transparency and corruption inherent in the Chinese system, China's position abroad and at home got badly beaten.

During the summer, China made a remarkable comeback when it effectively beat the pandemic at home and made a tremendous economic recovery, while the total incompetence of many Western leaders drove up the deaths count and the economic losses to astronomical heights in the West.

Now it looks like the Chinese vaccines, which Beijing has used to cement its geopolitical position especially in the 3rd world, is little better than junk. The 3rd world risks paying for a useless vaccine while waiting to put in new orders for Western vaccines.

Due to the higher transmissibility of the new virus variants spreading from the UK, SA and Brazil, more than 80% of the population will have to be immune to reach herd immunity. That is virtually impossible with a vaccine that's only 50% effective.

Few full appreciate the dynamics of geopolitics or anticipate game changers. Most are so enclosed in their ideological straightjacket that they are incapable of understanding reality.

Disappointing Chinese Vaccine Results Pose Setback for Developing World

Disappointing Chinese Vaccine Results Pose Setback for Developing World
Brazil says CoronaVac has an efficacy rate just over 50 percent, much lower than previously announced.
More than 380 million doses have already been ordered.

Scientists in Brazil have downgraded the efficacy of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine that they hailed as a major triumph last week, diminishing hopes for a shot that could be quickly produced and easily distributed to help the developing world.

Officials at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo said on Tuesday that a trial conducted in Brazil showed that the CoronaVac vaccine, made by the Beijing-based company Sinovac, had an efficacy rate just over 50 percent. That rate, slightly above the benchmark that the World Health Organization has said would make a vaccine effective for general use, was far below the 78 percent level announced last week.

The implications could be significant for a vaccine that is crucial to China’s global health diplomacy. At least 10 countries have ordered more than 380 million doses of CoronaVac, though regulatory agencies have yet to fully approve it.

A senior official in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China that had already ordered CoronaVac, said on Wednesday that an advisory panel would strictly review the vaccine based on clinical trial data before it was rolled out there.

Those countries that have ordered the Chinese-made vaccines are probably going to question the usefulness of these vaccines,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on health care in China.

Countries with opposition parties might use this to challenge the decision made by the incumbent government, and that will likely have domestic political implications in these countries,” Mr. Huang said.

Sinovac did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

For months, Chinese officials had said the vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm, a state-owned vaccine maker, would be important tools for fighting the pandemic in poorer countries that do not have extensive health care infrastructures. Unlike the vaccines made by the American drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, they do not need to be frozen.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which can be refrigerated and are more effective than their Chinese counterparts, could provide an alternative. But it is now unclear if the governments that have bought CoronaVac can scrap their deals and turn to others.

CoronaVac, unlike some of the other vaccines, relies on older technology that uses chemicals to weaken or kill the virus, which is then put into a vaccine to spark antibodies in the recipient. But the process of killing the virus can weaken a vaccine’s potency, resulting in an immune response that could be shorter or less effective.

The lower efficacy announced Tuesday would mean it would take longer for countries that used CoronaVac’s vaccine to reach “herd immunity,” the point at which enough people are resistant to the virus — roughly 70 percent, many scientists have said — that it is vanquished in a population. By contrast, the vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been shown to have an efficacy rate of about 95 percent.

“This was one of the reasons the Americans and Europeans didn’t go with this older technology,” said John Moore, a vaccine expert at Cornell University. “A well-maintained Ford Model T would probably get you from Wuhan to Beijing, but personally I would prefer a Tesla.”

Brazil’s health regulatory agency, Anvisa, is reviewing data from the trial, which relied on volunteers who are health care professionals. If Anvisa approves emergency use of CoronaVac, officials hope to start giving out shots in Brazil late this month. It has roughly 10.8 million doses of CoronaVac on hand. Last week, Brazil’s health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, said the government intended to buy 100 million doses of CoronaVac.

Natalia Pasternak, a microbiologist and the president of Instituto Questão de Ciência, a Brazilian nongovernmental organization, told reporters on Tuesday that the results of the trial meant it would not be a panacea.

While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary by state, most will likely put medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities first. If you want to understand how this decision is getting made, this article will help.

“It is not the best vaccine in the world,” she said at the news conference during which the efficacy rate was disclosed. But she called it a “perfectly acceptable vaccine” that would lead to fewer patients developing serious cases or dying from the virus.

Dimas Covas, the director of the Butantan Institute, called the vaccine an “excellent” tool “waiting to be used in a country where currently 1,000 people are dying per day.”

Many of the countries that have ordered CoronaVac are relatively poor, desperate to halt the pandemic and protect their populations.

Indonesia, for example, has ordered 125.5 million CoronaVac doses. The country has reported nearly 850,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 25,000 deaths, the highest numbers in Southeast Asia.

On Wednesday morning, its president, Joko Widodo, was injected with CoronaVac on live television, kicking off a national vaccination program. “Covid vaccination is important for us to break the chain of transmission of this coronavirus and provide health protection for all of us,” Mr. Joko said after getting his shot.

Sulfikar Amir, an Indonesian associate professor of disaster sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said the latest results from Brazil were a cause for concern.

“Why doesn’t Indonesia wait for a better vaccine?” he asked. “My impression is that this is rushed and forced.”

In the short term, some countries may have few viable options. Governments, many of them in richer nations, have already locked in more than half the doses that could come onto the market by the end of next year.

To its comparative advantage, Sinovac has immense manufacturing capacity. The company has said it can make 600 million doses this year.

In China, the weaker efficacy data from Brazil could be a setback for the country’s biotech ambitions. It had pinned its hopes on making a Covid-19 vaccine that would burnish its credentials as a global scientific power.

The tepid results could also be problematic for Chinese officials, given that they had touted the efficacy of the vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm. Even though the vaccines had not received regulatory approval, and data from late-stage trials had not been made public, Beijing gave them to thousands of Chinese people under an emergency use policy; it plans to vaccinate 50 million people by the middle of next month.

State media in China played down the news from Brazil. Global Times, a state-owned nationalist tabloid, ran a headline that said the Sinovac vaccine was “100 percent effective in preventing severe cases, could reduce hospitalizations by 80 percent.”

The new data could heighten skepticism among people around the world who are already wary of Chinese-made vaccines, given that the country has a history of vaccine quality scandals. A study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that just 37.2 percent of respondents in Hong Kong were willing to be vaccinated.

Scientists had already raised questions about the piecemeal way in which efficacy data about the Chinese vaccines had been released. Indonesia said on Monday that its interim analysis found CoronaVac to have an efficacy rate of 65.3 percent. Last month, Turkey said it had an efficacy rate of 91.25 percent, but that was based on preliminary results from a small clinical trial.

The vaccine had long taken on a political dimension in Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro had spoken derisively about CoronaVac, fueling an growing anti-vaccination movement in the country, where more than 200,000 people have died from Covid-19. The vaccine had been championed by São Paulo’s governor, João Doria, who is widely expected to run for president in 2022 and is among Mr. Bolsonaro’s most vocal critics.

In Brazil, officials say the higher efficacy rate previously announced for CoronaVac pertained to the protection it offered against developing Covid-19 symptoms significant enough to require treatment. While officials had asserted last week that the vaccine provided absolute protection against moderate to severe symptoms, they had not disclosed another group who had “very mild” infections despite having been vaccinated.

Denise Garrett, a Brazilian-American epidemiologist and vaccine expert, said there was no reason to doubt CoronaVac’s safety, adding that the data presented so far suggested it would provide a satisfactory level of protection. But Dr. Garrett said the vague and sometimes misleading manner in which information about the vaccine had been made public could shake people’s confidence in its reliability and fuel the political battle over the vaccine.

The lack of transparency really damages people’s trust,” she said. “They’ve just reinforced the narrative that this vaccine is not good.”
#15149496
If true, this is bad on so many levels. For China, who is about to make generational enemies, and for the entire fucking species.

I was actually optimistic that China would be the major force in saving lives, particularly in cash-strapped countries.

Who will get prioritized for the 'better' vaccines? Not the poorest, that's for sure.
#15149497
Uh...

The Butantan Institute and the Government of Sao Paulo report that the coronavirus vaccine achieved a 50.38% overall efficacy rate in the clinical study conducted in Brazil, in addition to (an efficacy rate of) 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. All rates are higher than the 50% level required by the WHO (World Health Organization)," the statement released Tuesday said.


If the Pfizer vaccine, which has a 95% efficacy, were submitted to the same statistical analysis that produced the 50.4% figure, then Pfizer would have an efficacy of 19% to 29%.

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04/pe ... -raw-data/

More non news dressed up as anti Chinese bleating.

If true


It's not. 50.4% is efficacy at stopping asymptomatic cases, i.e very mild symptoms from catching the virus. Polio vaccine was 60% effective in this regard. Pfizer vaccine's efficacy at the very mild bottom end is 19%. For severe cases it's not 100% effective, closer to 97%. This vaccine is 100% effective at stopping mild and severe cases-so far in Brazil. i.e this is better than the western vaccine in doing its stated job. The headline and article are highly misleading. Just par for the course, dishonest propagandist nonsense masquerading as journalism. Despite this so many have to act out their fantasy discussions, despite the facts. See below.

Edit: oh wait its the New York Times themselves. I actually need to pay attention myself, can't believe I donated 15 mins of my time to decisively debunking this drivel.
Last edited by Igor Antunov on 14 Jan 2021 00:06, edited 8 times in total.
#15149499
MadMonk wrote:If true, this is bad on so many levels. For China, who is about to make generational enemies, and for the entire fucking species.

I was actually optimistic that China would be the major force in saving lives, particularly in cash-strapped countries.

Who will get prioritized for the 'better' vaccines? Not the poorest, that's for sure.


Political leaders make choices. Those choices have a cost. If you buy Chinese junk you need to understand the cost.

Countries could have joined up to the Covax project initiated by the EU to bring vaccines to poor countries, which was shunned by the US and China.

If countries which first made the Chinese choice want Western vaccines, they'll have to wait their turn, since vaccines are delivered on a first come first serve basis.

Advanced vaccines were developed because Western government pre-financed the development. The higher price payed by Western countries will allow poor countries to get the vaccine cheaper.
#15149545
It is not really as bad as the NY Times reported. The Chinese coronavirus vaccine achieved an efficacy rate of 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases. However, the overall efficacy rate in the Brazilian clinical study is 50.38%, which means that the Chinese coronavirus vaccine may be ineffective for light or very mild cases. When very mild cases are included among the 13,000 volunteers, the figure is 50.4% — 167 infected volunteers in the placebo arm, and 85 in the vaccine arm. But as long as the vaccine is effective in preventing mild and severe cases, it can actually save lives, while those with light symptoms may only be quarantined. We don't care about very mild cases that didn't require medical help.

"The Butantan Institute and the Government of Sao Paulo report that the coronavirus vaccine achieved a 50.38% overall efficacy rate in the clinical study conducted in Brazil, in addition to (an efficacy rate of) 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases of Covid-19. All rates are higher than the 50% level required by the WHO (World Health Organization)," the statement released Tuesday said.
https://www.wtva.com/content/national/5 ... ml?ref=882
#15149546
ThirdTerm wrote:It is not really as bad as the NY Times reported. The Chinese coronavirus vaccine achieved an efficacy rate of 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases. However, the overall efficacy rate in the Brazilian clinical study is 50.38%, which means that the Chinese coronavirus vaccine may be ineffective for light or very mild cases. When very mild cases are included among the 13,000 volunteers, the figure is 50.38% — 167 infected volunteers in the placebo arm, and 85 in the vaccine arm. But as long as the vaccine is effective in preventing mild and severe cases, it can actually save lives, while those only with light symptoms may only be quarantined. We don't care about very mild cases that didn't require medical help.


Furthermore, these volunteers were recruited among medical professionals, they don't come from the general population. They probably have a much greater exposure to COVID than pretty much every other profession.

It seems it should also not be unexpected since this is a traditional vaccine.
#15149571
ThirdTerm wrote:It is not really as bad as the NY Times reported. The Chinese coronavirus vaccine achieved an efficacy rate of 78% for mild cases and 100% for moderate and severe cases. However, the overall efficacy rate in the Brazilian clinical study is 50.38%, which means that the Chinese coronavirus vaccine may be ineffective for light or very mild cases. When very mild cases are included among the 13,000 volunteers, the figure is 50.4% — 167 infected volunteers in the placebo arm, and 85 in the vaccine arm. But as long as the vaccine is effective in preventing mild and severe cases, it can actually save lives, while those with light symptoms may only be quarantined. We don't care about very mild cases that didn't require medical help.


How many severe cases did they have in the placebo control group for the Chinese vaccine? AstraZeneca claims 100% immunity against severe disease; however, since the control group only had 2 severe cases this is meaningless. The statistical basis of 2 cases is far too small to be significant.

One important question is whether vaccines prevent transmission of the virus or whether they only prevent disease. The Chinese test data suggest that the Chinese vaccine doesn't prevent transmission.

That could further fuel the pandemic when vaccinated people who believe they are immune spread the virus because of carelessness. People get vaccinated to go back to "normal life" without distancing, without masks, and with plenty of parties.

SARS-CoV-2 is a problem because more than half of infections are caused by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases. A vaccine which suppresses symptoms but not transmission will further fuel the pandemic.

That also makes the Indonesian strategy counter productive. Jakarta decided to vaccinate young people first (instead of the vulnerable) to cut transmissions. With a vaccine that prevents symptoms but not transmission that strategy could increase new infections.

@wat0n, that the tests were performed with medical staff shows that the trials were badly designed. One more reason to be suspicious. However, with respect to the number of infections, it doesn't matter as long as both the vaccinated group and the placebo control group were recruited among medical staff. Efficacity is calculated from the proportion of infections in the vaccinated group and in the control group.
#15149602
Atlantis wrote:@wat0n, that the tests were performed with medical staff shows that the trials were badly designed. One more reason to be suspicious. However, with respect to the number of infections, it doesn't matter as long as both the vaccinated group and the placebo control group were recruited among medical staff. Efficacity is calculated from the proportion of infections in the vaccinated group and in the control group.


Correct, and if they can control for potential confounders among medical staff then their estimate could (if anything) be downward biased to some extent. I would not say this is a bad result for the Sinovac vaccine, and this is not bad news. The more options that are available, the better.
#15149631
Because the disease is so dangerous, and even in ideal circumstances developing herd immunity is slow, we are excited.

We have vaccines, with more coming. Even if the Chinese vaccine is rejected, there are others. It will slow things down, but so far progress has been astonishingly fast. If you remember, months ago some experts were talking about the possibility that a vaccine could take years. Possibly never.

Fortunately we will soon have a president that knows what logistics is.
#15149798
Atlantis wrote:@wat0n, that the tests were performed with medical staff shows that the trials were badly designed. One more reason to be suspicious. However, with respect to the number of infections, it doesn't matter as long as both the vaccinated group and the placebo control group were recruited among medical staff. Efficacity is calculated from the proportion of infections in the vaccinated group and in the control group.

According to the trial the vaccine is 100% effective and the placebo is ~99% effective (I didn't check the no. of participants). Given that the manufacturing capacity is 600 million a year one could argue that they should produce 600 million placebo doses on top of that in order to double the reach of the vaccine whilst only slightly reducing it's efficacy.

What if the placebo group had zero cases? Would we be promoting the placebo as a viable solution to reach herd immunity?
#15149994
Istanbuller wrote:Accept the reality of China's rise. They are mostly better at everything than rest of the world now.


A majority of non-Mainland-Chinese East Asians, including Uighurs (your fellow Muslims and TURKS!), Hongkongers, Taiwaneses, Japaneses, Koreans, Vietnamese, Filipinos, etc. will disagree this statement TO THEIR DEATHS!
#15152791
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Then they will just wait a generation. No big deal - make-believes can't deny reality forever.

Just keep believing that everything that comes out of China is bad, celebrate their failures, deny their every achievement - then be disappointed of your predictions every-time. You will grit your teeth why "The world loves money so much they kowtow to the Chinese", learn nothing from it, and conclude that we should "unite and fight China harder"

That's really sad. Your side deserves to lose.
Election 2020

Annatar, once you again you post all kinds of asse[…]

US bombs Syria

Don't underestimate kippers, they're absolutely g[…]

How to deal with Trump?

Republican election officials say you're lying...[…]

They will trigger a war one way or another. Thi[…]