KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): Pharmaniaga Bhd said early data from studies shows that the Sinovac vaccine booster shots are 94% effective against the Omicron variant.
The studies by Sinovac Biotech Co Ltd involved two strains of the new variant from Hong Kong, it said in a statement on Saturday (Dec 18).
Lab results showed that when tested against one of the Omicron strains, 35% of the 20 serum samples (7/20) from recipients of two CoronaVac doses tested positive for the neutralising antibody, and 94% of the 48 samples (45/48) from recipients of three doses tested positive for the neutralising antibody.
Comparative testing using the other strain of the Omicron variant is underway.
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Pharmaniaga said Sinovac is conducting further studies involving sera with different antibody levels and at a wider variety of post-immunisation points of time in order to achieve a comprehensive evaluation of Omicron’s impact on the vaccine.
This supports the statement made by Sinovac Biotech senior director of oversea business Weining Meng, who said a booster shot given at an interval of six to 12 months after the second dose led to a strong boost in immune response with geometric mean titers (GMTs) increasing to approximately 140.
Meng was quoted as saying the GMTs of six months after the third dose is higher than the peak of the second dose.
“In addition, the studies also showed higher persistence of antibody six months of the booster dose compared to the second dose, indicating a longer duration of protection from Covid-19 and new variants,” Meng said.
Pharmaniaga said these scientific studies also are in line with the statement made by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Friday asking all adult Sinovac recipients and those above 60 years old, regardless of their types of vaccines, to take the booster shots by end-February 2022.