Sinovac Biotech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered from the disease, early trial results showed on Wednesday.
While the early to mid-stage trials were not designed to assess the efficacy of CoronaVac, researchers said it could provide sufficient protection, based on their experience with other vaccines and data from preclinical studies with macaques.
The study follows encouraging announcements this month from US drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, as well as Russia’s Sputnik V, that their experimental vaccines were more than 90 percent effective based on interim data from large, late-stage trials.
CoronaVac and four other experimental vaccines developed in China are currently undergoing late-stage trials to determine their effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.
The Sinovac findings, published in a peer-reviewed paper in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, came from results in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials in China involving more than 700 participants.
“Our findings show that CoronaVac is capable of inducing a quick antibody response within four weeks of immunisation by giving two doses of the vaccine at a 14-day interval,” said Zhu Fengcai of the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Nanjing and one of the authors of the paper.
“We believe that this makes the vaccine suitable for emergency use during the pandemic,” Zhu said in a statement published alongside the paper.
Among the Phase II trials limitations, the researchers noted that only healthy adults were involved and that the study did not include individuals from groups known to be more susceptible to COVID-19 including people of 60 years of age or more, or with other underlying diseases.
It also did not assess T-cell responses, which they said would form part of the Phase III trials in Brazil. Phase III trials are also under way in Indonesia and Brazil, which has reported the most coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and India.
Findings from those large, late-stage studies would be crucial to determine if the immune response generated by CoronaVac was sufficient to protect people from the coronavirus infection, the scientists said.
Naor Bar-Zeev from Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the study, said the results must be interpreted with caution until Phase III results are published.
“But even then, after Phase III trial completion and after licensure, we should prudently remain cautious,” he said.
CoronaVac is one of three experimental COVID-19 vaccines China has been using to inoculate hundreds of thousands of people under its emergency use programme.
The two other vaccines in China’s emergency programme, both developed by institutes linked to Sinopharm, and another vaccine from CanSino Biologics, were also shown to be safe and triggered immune responses in early and mid-stage trials, according to peer-reviewed papers.
Gang Zeng, a Sinovac researcher involved in the CoronaVac study, said the vaccine could be an attractive option because it can be stored at normal fridge temperatures of between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius (36°- 46°F) and may remain stable for up to three years.
“(It) would offer some advantages for distribution to regions where access to refrigeration is challenging,” Gang said.
By contrast, vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna use a new technology called synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) to activate the immune system against the virus and require far colder storage.
Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored and transported at -70C though it can be kept in a normal fridge for up to five days, or up to 15 days in a thermal shipping box. Moderna’s candidate is expected to be stable at normal fridge temperatures for 30 days but for storage of up to six months it needs to be kept at -20C.
CoronaVac is also being considered by Brazil and Indonesia for inoculations in the coming months.
Indonesia has sought emergency authorisation to start a mass vaccination campaign by the end of the year and vaccines produced by Sinovac and China’s Sinopharm are slated to be used in the early stages of the campaign.
Brazil’s Sao Paulo is set to begin importing the first of 46 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 this week and plans to roll out CoronaVac as early as January.
Global National: Nov. 25, 2020 | Ontario receives scathing pandemic response report – Global News
New public health measures to come into effect Friday – paNOW
Premier Scott Moe said a lockdown similar to the one that occurred in the spring is not necessary at this point because we now have a better understanding of the virus than we did back then.
“We know what we need to do to reduce the spread of this virus to keep ourselves and others safe,” he said. “We need to just slow down a little bit.”
These additional health measures come into effect at 12:01 a.m., Friday November 27 and, along with current health measures, remain in effect until Dec. 17, 2020. At that time they will be reviewed by the provincial Chief Medical Health Officer.
Enforcement of public health orders is permitted under The Public Health Act, 1994.
During the Wednesday press conference, SHA CEO Scott Livingstone said the SHA was working on setting up a drive-thru testing site in Prince Albert, he did not provide additional details.
Restaurants and licensed establishments measures
Beginning on Friday all restaurants and licensed establishments are limited to seat four at a single table. If there are barriers between restaurants they must be paced two metres apart but if there are none there must be three metres between tables.
Restaurants and licensed establishments must maintain guest/reservation information on all patrons and the curfew on liquor service remains in effect.
Performance and Gaming Venues
Capacity will be restricted to 30 people at all casinos, bingo halls, arenas, live theatres, movie theatres, performing arts venues and any other facilities that are currently supporting a capacity of 150 people.
Where any of these facilities offer food or beverage service, they must keep the activity separate (i.e. cordoned off) from the food and beverage service. No food or drink may be in the activity area.
Indoor Public Event Gatherings
Indoor events such as pubkic banquets, conferences, funerals and weddings in public buildings will be limited to 30 people.
Food or beverages may not be present or served. Note that the maximum allowable gathering size for private gatherings in the home setting remains at five. This includes in the home or in buildings located on the private property (e.g. garages, sheds). If your immediate family is five or greater, you cannot have additional visitors. Individuals, recurring caregivers, support personnel (i.e. therapists, nursing staff) and tradespersons (i.e. housekeeper, plumber) are permitted, though they should maintain two metre distancing and be masked during service provision.Gatherings of any size beyond your immediate household are strongly discouraged at this time.
Sports, Fitness and Dance
All of team or group sports, games, activities, competitions, recitals and practices are suspended. This includes amateur and recreational leagues for all age groups. Examples include hockey, curling, racquet sports, cheerleading, dance practices in group setting, etc.
Athletes and dancers 18 years of age and under may continue practicing, conditioning and skills training in groups of eight or fewer, abiding by the required mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants at all times.
Individual groups of eight may not share a training/rehearsal surface or space at the same time.
Coaches /trainers are not included in the training group numbers as long as they are masked and maintain a minimum physical distance of three metres.
Fitness activities and group fitness classes in groups of eight or fewer continues to be permitted, for all ages. Mask use and at least three metres of physical distancing between participants must be maintained.
Places of Worship
All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, including wedding, funeral and baptismal services. No food or drink may be present or served.
Mandatory Masking Expanded
Mandatory, non-medical mask use will be required during all indoor fitness activities, with aquatic activities the only exception.Mandatory, non-medical masking will be extended to:
- All students, employees and visitors in all schools and day cares (except while consuming food or beverage or engaging in aquatic fitness activities). Children ages 0-2 years are exempt from wearing masks. Children ages 3-12 should wear a mask if they are able to;
- All employees and visitors in all common areas in businesses and workplaces, even in those areas which the public does not have access (e.g. construction sites, manufacturing facilities); and
- All residents, employees and visitors in all common areas in provincial and municipal correctional facilities.
Note that masking continues to be required in indoor public areas that have installed barriers.
Malls and Retail
Retail businesses must enhance the expectation of mask use and mitigation measures (reduced traffic, directional flow signage, hand sanitizer, etc.) through signage and staff training.
Large retail locations are required to limit customer access to 50 per cent capacity or four square metres of space per person, whichever is less. Large retail locations are defined as retailers with a square footage larger than 20,000 square feet, and 50 per cent capacity is determined by half of the specified fire-code capacity.
On Twitter: @princealbertnow
Saskatchewan Government Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions – SwiftCurrentOnline.com
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- Saskatchewan Government Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions SwiftCurrentOnline.com
- New COVID-19 restrictions suspend sports, extend mandatory masking to schools CBC.ca
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