China’s Sinovac vaccine has shown to be 78% effective against Covid-19 in Brazilian late-stage trials and offers total protection against severe cases of the disease, raising hopes it can be used to immunize much of the developing world. Brazil’s Butantan Institute, the São Paulo-based research center that tested CoronaVac in Phase 3 trials, said Thursday that none of the volunteers who took the vaccine developed severe cases of Covid-19. More than 12,000 health workers took part in Phase 3 trials in Brazil, the first country to complete tests of Sinovac’s vaccine.
“It’s a great result,” said Luiz Carlos Dias, part of a Covid-19 task force of researchers at the University of Campinas in São Paulo state. “If it can prevent severe cases, hospitalizations, deaths, it will help get us out of this pandemic.” CoronaVac’s vaccine is less effective than those being developed by Moderna Inc. and jointly by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE that have shown to have efficacy rates of 94.5% and 95% in testing, respectively. But CoronaVac can be kept in a standard refrigerator between about 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit, making it easier and cheaper to transport and store in less developed countries, infectious disease specialists said.
Sanofi Arthritis Drugs Reduce Death Rates Among Sickest COVID-19 Patients
Treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with Roche’s Actemra or Sanofi’s Kevzara arthritis drugs significantly improves survival rates and reduces the number of times patients need intensive care, study results showed on Thursday. The findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, showed that the immunosuppressive drugs – Actemra, also known as tocilizumab, and Kevzara, also known as sarilumab – reduced death rates by 8.5 percentage points among patients hospitalized and severely ill with the pandemic disease.
That would mean that for every 12 patients treated with one of the two drugs, an extra life would be saved, said Anthony Gordon, an Imperial College London professor of anaesthesia and critical care who co-led the study. The data will boost confidence that some existing drugs can be repurposed to help with the pandemic that has killed more than 1.87 million people and crushed global economies.