S’pore to Review China’s Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine After Trials Show It’s Just 50.4% Effective

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Previously, it was reported that Singapore has made advance purchases for Covid-19 from three different companies.

The first is Pfizer-BioNTech, which is already approved for use in Singapore.

The second is Moderna which has submitted its clinical trial data to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) for study.

The third is Sinovac with their vaccine, the CoronaVac.

Unfortunately, there has been some obstacle regarding the third vaccine.

S’pore to Review China’s Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine After Trials Show It’s Just 50.4% Effective

In order for a Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Singapore, it must pass two important criteria: the safety of use and the efficacy rate.

Based on the data released from a Brazillian trial on 12 Jan 2021, the efficacy rate at preventing infection for the Sinovac vaccine is only 50.4%, far below the rate that was announced earlier this week.

This also means it just meets the regulatory approval threshold required.

After the release of the data, the Sinovac chairman insists that their vaccine is effective and is currently seeking to clarify the Brazillian trials.

On 13 Jan 2021, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told the media that China’s Sinovac vaccine will be reviewed.

He said that the data will be studied “carefully” and they will depend on official data from Sinovac instead of reported numbers.

The Covid-19 vaccine committee will evaluate if the vaccine will be added to Singapore’s portfolio of Covid-19 vaccines while the HSA will study the data.

How Sinovac Differs From Moderna & Pfizer-BioNTech 

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech use the new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology which teaches cells to produce a protein that triggers an immune response in our body. That’s a new technology, which could explain its high effectiveness (even the flu vaccine is only about 40% to 60% effective).

Mr Lawrence Wong said that when the Moderna vaccine is approved for use here, it’ll be added to Singapore’s vaccination programme.

Both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine do not have much difference, he added, with both having an efficacy rate of 95%.


Sinovac, meanwhile uses the traditional model of introducing an inactivated virus into the human body to stimulate immunity.

However, they will still have to look at the vaccine to see if it’s applicable to different subgroups within the population.

For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, kids below 16 years old, pregnant women, people with immunodeficiency conditions and those with a history of severe allergic reactions are advised not to take up the jab.

Feature Image: Shan_shan / Shutterstock.com

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