Study: Chinese vaccine offers poor protection from Covid-19 among the elderly – News Vibe24

    Study: Chinese vaccine offers poor protection from Covid-19 among the elderly - Times of India
    BUDAPEST: A new study shows that a Sinopharm vaccine offers poor protection against Covid-19 among the elderly, raising questions about dozens of countries that have given the Chinese company plans to their most vulnerable populations.
    A study of blood samples taken from 450 people in Hungary at least two weeks after the second dose of Sinopharm found that 90% under the age of 50 developed protective antibodies. But the percentage decreased with age and 50% of those over 80 had none.
    The study by two Hungarian researchers was published online this week, but has not yet been reviewed by other scientists. Three outside experts said they had no problem with the vaccine study methodology developed by the Sinopharm Biological Products Institute in Beijing.
    “It is very, very worrying that these people, who are at high risk, have a poor antibody response,” said Jin Dong-yan, a University of Hong Kong virologist who was not involved in the study.
    Antibody levels are not a direct measure of how well a person is protected from Covid-19, but there is growing evidence that he or she is a good agent. An expert warned that the selection of test kits could limit the accuracy of the measurements.
    However, the study’s findings are valuable and are the first public, scientific attempt to analyze the effect of the Sinopharm vaccine on the elderly, said Wang Chenguang, a former professor at Peking Union Medical College and an immunologist.
    China’s National Health Commission declined to comment on the study, saying it would only respond to studies by governments or major research institutes.
    This is not the first time questions have been asked about the effectiveness of the vaccine, which was given the green light by the World Health Organization in May and used in more than 50 countries, many of which were seized when other vaccines were hard to come by. .
    A WHO spokesman said Wednesday that his experts “are aware of the study and continue to look at all available evidence”. The agency’s advisers asked questions months ago about whether it provided protection to people over the age of 60, but when it was OK a WHO expert said there was no reason to believe it would work differently for the elderly.
    The vaccine is one of two similar studies developed by Sinopharm. A Chinese state-owned company survey found that almost all participants in the final clinical trials were under 60, and its researchers said there was insufficient evidence to say whether the vaccines work in the elderly. Overall, the Beijing Institute vaccine was found to be 78% effective.
    In Hungary, concerns about the shootings have led many to seek private antibody testing. Eventually, the capital, Budapest, offered free trials to older residents as part of an effort to increase pressure on the government to conduct its own wider investigation and provide support plans to those in need.
    After initial rejection of calls for a government response to efficiency issues – including antibody study authors Balazs Sarkadi and Tamas Ferenci – Prime Minister Victor Orban finally agreed last week in the face of growing public anger. He announced that the government would provide its citizens with an optional third shot.
    His office said, however, that all vaccines approved by Hungary are effective.
    The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain both announced in May that they too would offer a third dose of Sinopharm amid concerns about an inadequate antibody response. Bahrain has advised people over the age of 50 and some vulnerable people to take the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as a booster, regardless of whether they took Sinopharm initially.
    CNBG, Sinopharm’s subsidiary overseeing the Beijing Institute, said the third installment was not part of the company’s clinical guidance.
    It is not clear how many doses of the Beijing Institute Sinopharm vaccine have been exported. In total, China exported 500 million doses of vaccine in the first half of the year and the company is one of the two largest manufacturers of Covid vaccines in the country, along with its own Sinovac.
    The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization recently ordered 550 million doses from both companies for the UN-sponsored COVAX program.
    Both Sinopharm vaccines are widely used in China, including the elderly. The country’s National Health Commission said in April that the shootings provided some protection, although it acknowledged that early stages of clinical trials of Sinopharm vaccines and two others found fewer antibodies in people aged 60 and over.
    In Budapest, Beata Englohner was worried about her 76-year-old mother after hearing that people who had been vaccinated with Sinopharm turned out to have no antibodies.
    Englohner started a Facebook group to pressure the government to address the issue. She is cautiously optimistic now that Hungary will offer a third tranche.
    “We are very happy that we achieved our goal and that we were heard,” he said. “Although we are a little afraid that we will receive what we already have before.”

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