China is developing booster shots for the Sinopharm and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, which are less effective.
People who have been properly vaccinated against COVID-19 with the presumably less effective Sinopharm and Sinovac jabs may be getting a booster dose from China.
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Fosun Pharma), a Chinese pharmaceutical company, has teamed up with BioNTech to create an mRNA booster vaccine. Following an expert panel evaluation by Chinese pharma authorities, the shot is currently in the administrative review stage, according to Caixin Global.
The booster, which is expected to be branded Comirnaty, could begin domestic trial production by the end of August and might be given away for free to anyone who have had the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.
The discovery of the booster shot, according to health experts, could be considered as a setback for the Chinese government, which has been boasting the efficacy of its vaccines.
“I believe Chinese scientists are aware of the low antibody [levels]in Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine serum. As a result, they may suggest that the Chinese government needs another boost,” Shih Shin-ru, director of the Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections, told VOA Mandarin.
China is considering a booster vaccine after a Hong Kong study published in The Lancet on July 15 indicated that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine produced 10 times greater antibody levels than the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.
Antibody levels in 63 participants who received the Pfizer shot “increased dramatically after the first dose of vaccination and subsequently rose again following the second dose of immunization,” according to the researchers. Antibody levels in the 30 healthcare workers who received the Sinovac shot, on the other hand, “had low antibody concentrations… after the first dosage, rising to moderate amounts after the second treatment,” according to the study.
Researchers discovered that the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccination had a poorer antibody response against the more contagious Delta form in another study published on medRxiv Monday.
According to the researchers, as compared to the original COVID-19 strain, antibody levels in those who received the Sinopharm shot were 1.38 times lower for the Delta version. In patients who developed the Beta form, the shot resulted in a 10-fold drop in antibody levels, according to the study.