Phase III Clinical Trials with 45,000 Participants in Arab Countries Show Efficacy of Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine is 78.89% on Adults

By Huang Lanlan

May 14, 2021 02:51 AM

Sinopharm vaccine File photo:VCG

File Photo:VCG

The ongoing Phase III clinical trials of one of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines, which have been conducted in five Arab countries since the summer of 2020, show an efficacy of 78.89 percent on people aged 18 and above, the company executives said during a seminar about vaccine development held in Shanghai on Thursday.

The clinical trials also show a 100 percent protection against severe illness and hospitalization of COVID-19 patients, Zhang Yuntao, vice president and chief scientist of Sinopharm China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a subsidiary of Sinopharm, said during the seminar. 

Zhang announced that the trials, carried out in Adu Dhabi, Sharjah, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, with the joint efforts of local scientists and volunteers, covered some 45,000 participants from 125 countries. 

In Adu Dhabi, for instance, 27,362 people have received the first dose of the Sinopharm inactivated vaccine since the trial started in July 2020, with 26,537 of them having received the second dose, according to Zhang. 

At the end of 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the first country in the world to offer Chinese COVID-19 vaccines to all its citizens and residents for free. The country now has more than 70 percent of its population vaccinated, making it the second most vaccinated country in the world, according to the UAE Ambassador to China, Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri.

"People in UAE have great trust in Sinopharm's vaccine and highly accept it," Al Dhaheri told the Global Times on Thursday, adding that the majority UAE residents got the Sinopharm vaccines.

The trust partly comes from the efficacy of the vaccine. In the UAE, a recent study by the national immunization program showed that the vaccinated population "are 93 percent less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 compared to the unvaccinated population," Nawal Al Kaabi, chairwoman of UAE's national COVID-19 clinical management committee and participant in the trials, said in a video conference during the seminar.

Trial participant and researcher, Manaf Al Qahtani, also a member of Bahrain's national medical taskforce against the COVID-19, introduced the local situation of the Phase III trials of the Sinopharm vaccine at the seminar by videoconference. The clinical trial involved 7,755 participants in Bahrain, he said.

"I'm glad to say that our results are encouraging," Al Qahtani noted, saying the inoculation resulted in an "overall reduction in mortality and mobility" of the coronavirus, and the side effects are mainly minor. "The most commonly reported side effect was pain on the side of the injection," he added.

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