Sinovac, Pfizer vaccines equally effective, says Noor Hisham
Published on: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
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The health ministry says it will stop administering the Sinovac vaccine once its supply ends, as other vaccines such as Pfizer’s are sufficient. (Photo collage: FMT)
PETALING JAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has rubbished claims on the substandard quality of China’s Sinovac vaccine, stating that it is as effective as the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19.

This, he said, is based on published medical data on Sinovac.

In a Facebook post, Noor Hisham said that on July 7, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report on the Sinovac experience in Chile from February to May on 4.2 million fully vaccinated individuals compared to 5.5 million not vaccinated.

“Sinovac was found to reduce Covid-19 infection by 65.9%, reduce hospitalisation by 87.5%, reduce ICU admission by 90.3% and reduce deaths by 86.3%,” he said.

He said the Israeli health ministry had also pointed out recently that the Pfizer vaccine reduced infection by 64% against Covid-19, but was 93% effective against hospitalisation and serious illness.

“Therefore, there is not much difference between the Sinovac and Pfizer vaccines in actual practical use.

“Both are effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalisation, but less effective against mild or asymptomatic Covid-19,” he said.

Malaysian health experts have said all vaccines offer slightly lower protection against the Delta variant, but they help to prevent serious illness caused by the variant.

They also said the highest numbers of infections with the Delta variant were currently found in the UK, which mostly used the AstraZeneca vaccine, and in European countries (Pfizer and AstraZeneca) and the US (Pfizer and Moderna).

On July 15, health minister Dr Adham Baba said Malaysia will stop administering Sinovac once its supply ends as it has a sufficient number of other vaccines for its programme.

The announcement to stop using Sinovac’s inactivated virus vaccine came amid increasing concern over its efficacy against new and more contagious variants of the Covid-19 virus.

Thailand this week said it would use the AstraZeneca vaccine as a second dose for those who had received the Sinovac shot, while Indonesia is considering a booster shot for those who have received the two-dose Sinovac course.

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