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Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine shows efficacy less than 60% in its last stage clinical trial held in Brazil. 

Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine showed a general efficacy of less than 60% in its late-stage trial in Brazil according to a news website, citing two people who have seen the results.

However, Sao Paulo’s Butantan biomedical centre, which partnered with Sinovac to test and produce the vaccine in Brazil, dismissed the report as the company prepares to release a more complete set of results. 

Last week,  Brazilian researchers said the va14ccine was shown to be 78% effective against mild cases of COVID-19 and entirely prevented severe cases. But independent specialists called for more transparency on the findings from the Phase III trial of the Sinovac vaccine (CoronaVac). 

(Source: The Straits Times, 2021)

CSL uses up all its resources for the AstraZeneca vaccine but will leave room for the locally developed Novavax vaccine after.   

CSL recently said that the company may have to review its capacity to make an alternative COVID-19 vaccine made by Novavax in Australia as all of its current resources are being used in the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

CSL has focused all of its resources on making the AstraZeneca vaccine onshore, though it would re-evaluate its manufacturing capabilities if the government requested this once the production of the 50 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses was complete. Given the current timelines, this might not be until the end of 2021.

A representative from CSL said that despite reviewing its production capacity in detail, the company’s focus had to remain on producing 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and it had no space to produce other vaccines at the same time. The representative added that if the government requests, they would re-evaluate its capacity, but only after the AstraZeneca project is finished.

(Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, 2021)

Malaysia increases its Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine purchase as cases increase.

Malaysia has recently committed to purchasing an additional 12.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on top of its initial 12.8 million doses already purchased as more cases emerge.  

The additional purchase will give Malaysia enough Pfizer shots to inoculate about 39% of its population, with each individual requiring two doses each. 

The country is suffering its worst wave of infections yet, with daily cases passing the 3,000 threshold for the first time earlier this month. New lockdowns and social distancing measures were rolled out to curb the increase in infections. 

The first 12.8 million Pfizer doses are expected to be available at the end of February, while the latest order would come in throughout the year.

The Malaysian government has set aside around $741 million for COVID-19 vaccine purchases. 

(Source: Nikkei Asia, 2021)