Sunday, April 18, 2021

In clinical and real world trials, China’s Sinovac underperforms

The vaccine has already been exported to 19 countries

THE LATEST results for China’s CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Sinovac Biotech, a Beijing-based pharmaceutical company, were disappointing for the aspiring scientific and technological powerhouse. Phase-three trials, which were conducted on health-care workers in Brazil, yielded an efficacy rate of just 50.7% (with a 95% confidence interval of 35.7% to 62.2%), just barely above the 50% threshold set by the World Health Organisation for covid-19 vaccines. The results of a real-world trial released a week earlier were even worse: the vaccine was estimated to be just 49.6% effective (11.3% to 71.4%) against symptomatic covid-19 cases; when asymptomatic infections were included, this figure dropped to a dismal 35.1%.

The Chinese authorities’ reaction did little to boost confidence. After news broke of the discouraging results, Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted at a conference on April 10th that current vaccines “don't have very high rates of protection”, and suggested that vaccines could be mixed to improve efficacy. Mr Gao later backtracked from the comments, claiming that it was “a complete misunderstanding”.


Obnoxious racist targets royal funeral

Jeremy Vine has been blasted for turning Prince Philip's funeral into a 'race issue' by pointing out that all the guests are white.

The Channel 5 TV host, 55, asked a guest on his show whether she thought it was a 'problem' that all 30 attendees would be white at the Windsor Castle service which will be held on Saturday afternoon.

Footage of the exchange has been shared widely on social media, with some people accusing Vine of 'race baiting'.

It follows more than 100,000 complaints being made to the BBC about its amount of coverage on the Duke's death, with another 433 complaints after Andrew Marr compared him to an 'Indian bride', for which he has since apologised.

In the clip, Vine says: 'We are going to see a group of 30 people who are going to be at this very restricted funeral, and I'm imagining it will be 30 people who are white.

'I'm just trying to think whether there's anybody of colour in there and I don't think so. Do you think that's a problem?'

Social media users reacted to the interview, with one saying: 'I am genuinely staggered at this statement from Jeremy Vine. It's pure race baiting.'

Another wrote: 'Jeremy Vine is cancelled'.

A third added: 'What a ghastly thing to say'.

And a fourth posted: 'It's not a problem but let's ask the question anyway so that we can try to turn it into one. How is this not simply race baiting?'




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