Will this affect those who have taken the Sinovac vaccine in Malaysia?
After much speculation concerning lower antibody levels relating to China’s Sinovac vaccine, Fosun Pharmaceutical of China has announced plans to develop booster shots to increase the vaccine’s effectiveness against Covid-19 as reported by IBTimes.
Fosun Pharma has partnered with BioNTech of Germany to embark on the process of developing a booster shot that is expected to have the brand name, Comirnaty. Caixin Global reported that the progress of development is currently still at the administrative review stage following a review conducted by an expert panel of Chinese drug regulators. By the end of August, the booster is expected to begin domestic trial production and to be offered for free to recipients of the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccine.
The development of the booster shot might be seen as a blow to the Chinese government which has been touting the effectiveness of its vaccines as said by health experts according to VOA Mandarin.
It was reported that scientists in China realised the low antibody level in Sinovac, causing them to suggest booster shots as said by Shih Shin-ru, director of the Research Centre for Emerging Viral Infections. This is also followed by announcements from Thailand and Indonesia that they would switch from vaccines made in China to Western vaccines.
The booster vaccine was taken into consideration following a study published by The Lancet on 15 July which states that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides 10 times higher antibody levels than the Sinovac vaccine. On the other hand, another study published by medRxiv following the response of individuals who have been administered the Sinopharm vaccine towards the Delta variant with a weaker antibody also triggered considerations of developing a booster vaccine.
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