Chinese COVID-19 vaccines supply remains crucial for developing nations irrespective of real-world data, says GlobalData

Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine was recently found to be 49.6% effective in real-world data from Brazil. However, considering the global demand for COVID-19 vaccines and the supply-demand gaps, Chinese vaccines remain crucial for developing nations’ vaccination programs irrespective of real-world data, says GlobalData, a leading data analytics and research company.

China has so far provided COVID-19 vaccine aid to more than 50 developing nations and Sinovac Biotech alone has already supplied over 150 million doses to other countries. However, Chinese COVID-19 vaccines were always criticized for lack of peer-reviewed data over efficacy in Phase III trials.

Prashant Khadayate, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Real-world data is crucial for understanding vaccine effectiveness. All nations require highly effective vaccines, like those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, which have shown high efficacy rates even in real-world usage.

“Chinese vaccines, on the other hand, have shown varied efficacy rates across countries in clinical trial settings from just over 50% to 79%. Real-world data serves to validate the data observed in a clinical trial setting. However, low efficacy observed in real-world data will not hurt the future uptake as developed nations have already stockpiled large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines from leading manufactures like Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, leading to inadequate supply for developing nations.”

According to GlobalData’s ‘Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pharma Executive Briefing – April 20, 2021’, among the top 15 economies, Brazil and Mexico are the only two countries that have approved Chinese vaccines.

It is important to note that most of the COVID-19 vaccines being supplied to developing countries are by companies based out of Russia, China, and India. However, India is currently struggling with a severe second wave of COVID-19 and the focus is shifting towards vaccinating its own population and less towards supplying other nations.

As a result, the WHO-backed COVAX initiative has slashed the number of vaccines to be delivered by the end of May from about 240 million doses to 145 million doses. Moreover, the COVAX initiative was only able to supply 41 million doses so far of its two billion doses promised by the end of 2021.

Mr Khadayate concludes: “Chinese vaccine manufacturers are already playing a key role in supplying vaccines to developing countries. The supply of COVID-19 vaccines from China are expected to improve further and be of increased importance amid the supply issues within India in the wake of second wave of COVID-19.”

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