People who got Sinovac vaccine nearly 5 times more likely to develop severe COVID-19 than Pfizer: Singapore study

COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer, Singapore study

People who took Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine are nearly five times more likely to develop severe symptoms from COVID-19 than those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty vaccine, a Singapore study has found.

The study, published on Tuesday (Apr 12), involved about 2.7 million people in Singapore aged 20 and above who received two doses under the national vaccination programme.

It covered a seven-week period in 2021 from Oct 1 to Nov 21, when cases in Singapore surged due to the Delta variant.

The team, which included infectious diseases experts from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), observed a lower relative effectiveness of the two inactivated whole virus vaccines - Sinovac and Sinopharm - against COVID-19 infection compared to the mRNA vaccines - Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Those who received the Sinovac vaccine were 4.59 times more likely to have severe COVID-19 compared to those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They were also 2.37 times more likely to be infected, compared to those who took the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Severe disease was defined as those requiring oxygen supplementation in hospital, intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death.

The findings also suggest that the Moderna vaccine is more effective at preventing severe disease than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Those who took the Moderna were found to be less than half (0.42) times as likely to develop severe COVID-19 than Pfizer-BioNTech recipients, and they are also less likely to be infected.

Citing a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the higher effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine was likely because of the higher mRNA content in the Moderna vaccine and longer time interval between the jabs.

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