BEIJING (Reuters) – Different efficacy results for a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine released separately in China and in United Arab Emirates are both real and valid, an executive at China National Biotec Group (CNBG) told state media.
China approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for general public use on Thursday, a shot developed by an affiliate to state-backed Sinopharm, after the developer said the vaccine showed 79.34% efficacy based on an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.
That rate is lower than the 86% rate for the same vaccine reported by the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 9.
Countries have certain differences in their standards and procedures in diagnosing patients, and the final results of COVID-19 case identification were different, Yang Xiaoming, chairman at Sinopharm unit’s CNBG, told Global Times, a tabloid published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.
“Therefore, there were differences between the comprehensive multi-country data we reviewed and the protection rate data previously evaluated by the UAE and Bahrain,” Global Times quoted Yang as saying in a report published on Thursday.
“But these two results are both real and valid,” Yang said, without offering further details for the data.
CNBG did not participate in the analysis or review of clinical trial data released by regulators in countries where its vaccine was being trialed, Yang said.
The vaccine, developed by CNBG’s unit Beijing Biological Products Institute, along with another candidate from a Wuhan-based unit of CNBG, are being tested in Phase III clinical trials outside China.
Trials for CNBG’s candidates have recruited over 60,000 participants aged between 18-60, Yang said.
(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill)