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Experts approve Sinovac vaccine for emergency use in HK

16 February 2021

by The SUN 

Lau says Sinovac's vaccine is 62.3% effective after the second dose

A panel of experts has unanimously approved the use of Coronavac, the vaccine developed by mainland firm Sinovac, for emergency use in Hong Kong.

Panel convenor Prof Wallace Lau said in a press briefing this evening that Sinovac had provided them with data from its late-stage trials showing that its vaccine’s benefits outweighed the risks.

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Lau said the data showed the vaccine’s efficacy rate is 62.3 percent, when two doses are administered 28 days apart.

Data earlier submitted by Sinovac also indicated the vaccine could trigger an immune response and created antibodies in adults and the elderly.

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Previously, the panel cited late-stage clinical trials in Brazil that showed Coronavac’s efficacy rate at just 50.65 percent, sparking fears the vaccine isn’t as effective as it should be.

Lau said the data they got laid those fears to rest.


“This is about an emergency use of a vaccine that will hopefully help to protect the people of Hong Kong from Covid. We have received the data from Sinovac. The data that we have looked at appeared to show that this vaccine is efficacious,” he said.

The World Health Organization has yet to approve the Sinovac vaccine, but has already set a minimum standard of 50% efficacy rate for all Covid-19 vaccines.

All Covid-19 vaccines must be at least 50% effective, says the WHO

Lau brushed off suggestions the 12-member panel of experts bowed to pressure from the government in recommending the use of Sinovac’s vaccine.


“There is no pressure at all from anyone. Over the last few days, I have more or less shut myself down from all the newspapers, etc. We have concentrated primarily on looking at the data,” he said.

Sinovac was supposed to deliver the first million doses of its vaccine to Hong Kong by early January, but its failure to submit the required data held up its approval.

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The vaccine developed by German firm BioNTech is on track to deliver its first batch of jabs to Hong Kong late this month, and mass inoculation is set to begin in early March.

Hong Kong has procured 7.5 million doses each from Sinovac, BioNTech, and AstraZeneca in Britain.


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