THERE has been an information gap in Zimbabwe on the Sinopharm vaccine, which the government began administering yesterday, with Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga taking the lead. Many people have been questioning its safety and efficacy.
A lot of fake news has also done the rounds, leaving citizens in fear and sceptical about taking the vaccine.
This is what the The NewsHawks gathered about the vaccine: Sinopharm was developed by a Chinese state-owned company, Pharmaceutical Group Corporation.
It is made of inactivated virus.
According to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is administering the vaccine to its citizens, the vaccine can be given to everyone from the age of 16 years.
The UAE government through its vaccine webpage also said the vaccine was safe for older adults and people with chronic conditions.
It recommended its use among elderly persons and vulnerable persons as they are at risk of developing complication when infected with Covid-19.
Sinopharm announced on 30 December 2020 that phase three trials of the vaccine showed that it was 79% effective — lower than that of Pfizer and Moderna.
However, the UAE approved the Sinopharm vaccine and said it was 86% effective, according to interim results of its phase three trial.
Phase three trials have been conducted in 10 countries worldwide including the UAE, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Argentina, Jordan and Pakistan.
How long will the vaccine protect a person after vaccination? Is that supported by any data?
According to Sinopham chairman Liu Jingzhen: “The antibody durability has been observed in Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. According to the data of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, the observation result still shows a high level of antibody after 6 months of vaccination.
The UAE and Bahrain have already approved official registration of Sinopharm CNBG’s inactivated vaccine of which the protection rate exceeding the minimum target of WHO (World Health Organisation).
Our clinical trials are still going on and we will keep observing the durability of the antibody. As a new vaccine, the immunity durability and protection effect of Covid-19 vaccine need long-term persistent observation till we obtain the long-term protection data.”
The UAE ministry of Health and Prevention has released an official statement stating no serious safety concerns have been reported.
However, it is important to note that neither Sinopharm nor the UAE has released detailed data on the trial of 31 000 participants.