SL to obtain 13mn doses of most expensive, least effective Sinovac vaccine: Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Forum of SL
2 years ago
The Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Forum of Sri Lanka has learned that the Government is planning to obtain 13 million doses of the Sinovac anti Covid-19 vaccine. To this effect, the forum has expressed that it is “profoundly disturbed” by this decision via a statement. Accordingly, the Forum draws attention to data provided by the manufacturer of Sinovac which shows that antibody response after two doses of the same reduces drastically in 6 months and also adds that the protective period after a full course of Sinovac is around four and a half months. “As a result an early third dose given as a booster may be necessary with Sinovac. At present there is a paucity of data on the efficacy, effectiveness and in vitro neutralizing antibody responses of Sinovac against the Delta variant. Available information suggests the effectiveness of Sinovac could be as low as 25 to 30 percent against the Delta variant,” the Forum stated. Further, it highlights the results of a recent study conducted in Hong Kong in which Prof. Malik Peiris (a renowned Sri Lankan Virologist and Pathologist) is the senior author. According to this study, the neutralising antibodies for Pfizer vaccines are 10 times more than for Sinovac. The Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Forum also mentioned that the Delta variant is now spreading rapidly in southeast Asia where Sinovac has been used widely. “Unfortunately, due to the low level of protection provided by Sinovac, these countries have been compelled to change their vaccination strategy,” the Forum said. It also notes that with the availability of effective vaccines against the Delta variant, it is unable to understand why the authorities are planning to procure 13 million doses of Sinovac which is regarded as the least effective and arguably the most expensive vaccine. “It would be received by 40% of our target population when Sri Lanka is on the verge of an epidemic caused by the Delta variant,” it said. In conclusion, the Forum urged the Government to reconsider this plan and not sanction the procurement of Sinovac for Sri Lanka. “To control the Delta variant, community measures alone are not sufficient, and a rational vaccine policy based on scientific evidence is of paramount evidence,” it said.