Turkey Finds Chinese Vaccine Efficacy Rate of 91.25% in Trial

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Turkey said a trial involving thousands of volunteers showed an estimated efficacy rate of 91.25% for a Covid-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., a far higher level than suggested in a study of the shot in Brazil.

Since September, Turkey has run trials involving more than 3,400 people, according to a televised news conference by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. The efficacy rate was determined among roughly half of the participants, he said.

Earlier, Brazil said a clinical trial showed the Sinovac vaccine was more than 50% effective, though researchers delayed releasing more information at the request of the company.

Turkey has agreed to purchase 50 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, with the first shipments expected to begin Sunday. Authorities will soon begin a four-phase vaccination program, prioritizing medical staff, people over the age of 65 who have chronic diseases, and those with physical handicaps.

Koca has said the Sinovac vaccine was preferred because it’s manufactured using conventional methods. Still, Turkey is in early talks to receive around 4.5 million doses of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech by the end of March, Koca said. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was developed using messenger RNA technology, a new strategy for fighting a virus.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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