CanSino's Covid-19 vaccine 65.7% effective in global trial: Pakistan health minister

The positive data moves the vaccine  a step closer to becoming China's third successful shot for the disease.
The positive data moves the vaccine a step closer to becoming China's third successful shot for the disease.PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD (REUTERS) - CanSino Biologics Inc's (CanSinoBIO) Covid-19 vaccine showed 65.7 per cent efficacy in preventing symptomatic cases, and a 90.98 per cent success rate in stopping severe disease in an interim analysis of global trials, Pakistan's Health Minister said on Monday (Feb 8).

The positive data moves the vaccine, jointly developed by a research institute affiliated with the Chinese military, a step closer to becoming China's third successful shot for the disease.

Although Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese developers have shown lower protection rates than some Western products, and no detailed study results are publicly available yet, they have already been approved in several developing countries battling a surge in coronavirus infections.

The CanSinoBIO vaccine is being tested in Pakistan, Mexico, Russia, Argentina and Chile, according to clinical trial registration data, and the company has supply deals with some of those countries, including Mexico.

In Pakistan, Health Minister Faisal Sultan had said that the country could receive "in the range of tens of millions" of doses of the CanSinoBIO vaccine under an agreement with the Chinese firm.

The efficacy of the vaccine is based on analysis of 30,000 participants and 101 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the minister said on Twitter, quoting data from an independent data monitoring committee.

No serious safety concerns have been raised in the study, he said.

In the Pakistani subset, the efficacy of the CanSinoBIO vaccine at preventing symptomatic cases was 74.8 per cent and 100 per cent at preventing severe disease, Dr Sultan added.

CanSinoBIO was not immediately available for comment.

While the vaccine's protection rate trails the more than 90 per cent efficacy of rival shots developed by Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc, its single-dose regimen and normal refrigerator storage requirement could make it a favourable option for many countries.

Shots from Chinese companies Sinovac and state-backed Sinopharm have shown efficacy of between 50 per cent and 91 per cent.