China’s Coronavac 80% effective at preventing Covid deaths: Chile results

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SANTIAGO, April 16, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – China’s Coronavac vaccine was 67
percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 80 percent at
preventing death, according to real-life results unveiled Friday from
Chile’s inoculation campaign.

“These figures should convey peace of mind to the country,” Health
Minister Enrique Paris told journalists as he announced the outcome of
two months’ of vaccination in Chile, in February and March.

The results were obtained from a comparison between people who were
fully vaccinated, partly vaccinated with one dose, and non-vaccinated
— a sample size of some 10.5 million in total — in the country that
has led the pack with its vaccine rollout.

They also showed the vaccine was 85 percent effective at preventing
hospitalization with serious coronavirus symptoms, and 89 percent at
preventing intensive care admissions.

Chile’s government wants to inoculate 80 percent or 15.2 million of
its population. It is far ahead in Latin America, and has one of the
most advanced vaccine campaigns in the world.

As of Friday, the country had succeeded in giving at least one
vaccine dose to 7.6 million people, and both doses to more than five
million — about a third of the target population.

It kicked off its campaign on Christmas Eve last year with medical
personnel, followed by the wider population from February, starting
with older citizens.

Coronavac, produced by Chinese firm Sinovac, made up 86.9 percent of
Chile’s vaccine arsenal, with the remainder receiving the
Pfizer/BioNtech jab.

Most of those who got it in February and March were over 60 years
old — the category of people most vulnerable to serious symptoms.

The results were unveiled as Chile, as much of South America,
recorded a marked uptick in infections. It reported a record number of
confirmed new cases of more than 9,000 in one day.

Most of Chile’s population was placed under lockdown at the end of
last month.

Trial results with Coronavac in Brazil had shown efficiency of about
50 percent in preventing symptomatic infection.

The Chile results come from one of the first studies in real-life conditions.

Coronavac is a traditional type of vaccine, using inactivated
coronavirus to trigger immunity.