TEMPO.CO, Bandung - The number of volunteers in the Sinovac vaccine clinical trial in Bandung who tested positive for Covid-19 increased to 95 from previously 25 in mid-January or three months of the tests.
At that time, the efficacy rate of the vaccine made in China was 65.3 percent. This March marked the six months of the test and is the time for the research team to publish the data on test subjects receiving the Covid-19 vaccine or placebo.
“From both groups of people who got the placebo and the vaccine, 95 people test positive until today,” said Head of the Research Team Kusnandi Rusmil on Monday, March 22, 2021.
However, Kusnandi stopped short of detailing how many of them received the vaccine or the placebo. The vaccine efficacy rate, he confirmed, remained at 65 percent.
The statement was made when he took blood samples from the volunteers at Garuda Community Health Center (Puskesmas) in a bid to measure their antibody six months after the first injection. Kusnandi mentioned that the World Health Organization (WHO) asked for the research to be extended to another six months.
According to him, the request was aimed at studying the effects of the Sinovac vaccine in more detail. “Because this disease has only been discovered in one year, so we are still studying it carefully,” he added.
The WHO also asked the research team to administer booster doses to volunteers because the vaccination does not mean a lifelong immunity to Covid-19.
Kusnandi likened the condition to the influenza virus that mutates each year. “The influenza vaccine is administered once a year, and it changes each year. Perhaps, the Covid-19 vaccine is the same,” he said.
AHMAD FIKRI (CONTRIBUTOR)