PETALING JAYA: The vaccines produced by Sinovac and Pfizer-BioNTech are equally effective in preventing severe Covid-19 infections, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said medical data in real-world settings showed that both had similar efficacy rates against the virus.
He cited a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 7 which detailed the use of the Sinovac vaccine in Chile from February to May.
“Sinovac was found to reduce Covid-19 infection by 65.9%, reduce hospitalisation by 87.5%, reduce ICU admissions by 90.3% and reduce deaths by 86.3%,” he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (July 20).
He added that the study had looked at 4.2 million fully-vaccinated people against 5.5 million unvaccinated residents, as well as having documented 218,784 Covid-19 cases.
“In contrast, the Pfizer trial which reported an efficacy of 95% was very small and analysed only 170 Covid-19 cases – eight in the vaccinated group and 162 in the unvaccinated group,” he said.
He added that Israel's Ministry of Health pointed out that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the infection fell to 64% since June 6, although it was still 93% effective against hospitalisation and serious illness.
“Therefore, there is not much difference between the Sinovac and Pfizer vaccines in actual practical use. Both are very effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalisation, but less effective against mild or asymptomatic Covid-19,” he said.