On February 3, the Sinovac laboratory shared the results of a trial it had performed to test the efficacy of its CoronaVac vaccine on adults over the age of 60. The data was published in scientific journal The Lancet. CoronaVac is already being administered in Mexico and here are the details:
How does the vaccine work?
CoronaVac uses the virus that causes Covid-19, although in an inactive form. This means it takes the infectious parts of SARS-CoV-2 and treats them to make them harmless. However, they are still able to act on the immune system to create defenses against the coronavirus.
The virus is manipulated through chemical processes or heat. This is the most traditional way of creating vaccines around the world, and it is the same as that used by Sinopharm, another laboratory from China.
To create this particular vaccine, Chinese scientists incubated SARS-CoV-2 in the cells of the kidney from an African green monkey.
At the end of the incubation period, the virus was harvested and inactivated using propiolactone (which is used to create disinfectants and sterilants for tissues, blood plasma, and surgical instruments).
The vaccine was then produced in a highly automated bioreactor from Sweden.
Tests on the elderly
According to the Sinovac laboratory, trials to test its efficacy on people over the age of 60 took place in Hebei Province, China. In total, 421 volunteers participated in the study. Half were given a placebo and the other half the vaccine.
The publication indicates that 21% of the total (87 people) reported some adverse reaction to the vaccine. However, all of these were classified as mild or moderate, i.e. pain in the area where they were injected and a fever in some cases.
Seven serious reactions were recorded (one case of pancreatitis, for example), but they were determined to be “unrelated” to the vaccine or the placebos.
Experts concluded that CoronaVac is 95 % effective at provoking immune responses in adults over the age of 60 when two 3-microgram doses are administered.
“In conclusion, CoronaVac was well tolerated and caused humoral responses in adults over the age of 60, which supports the use of this vaccine in an older population,” they said.
200,000 doses of Coronavac to be administered in the municipality of Ecatepec
Health authorities reported that all of the 200,000 CoronaVac Covid-19 vaccines that had arrived in Mexico will be administered in the municipality of Ecatepec.
“The municipality of Ecatepec, in the State of Mexico, will receive the shipment of Sinovac vaccine doses,” said Dr. José Luis Alomía, General Director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Health.
According to the official, this decision was made after analyzing population density, which is a risk for continued transmission, the number of deaths, and social conditions.
The official explained that Ecatepec is the second most populated municipality in Mexico, and it has the highest levels of poverty and extreme poverty in the country, which is why it was decided that all of the doses received this weekend will be administered there. (With information from EFE)