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Experts say Sinovac’s vaccine safe, but makers must give more data

10 February 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Panel convenor Lau says Sinovac has been asked to supply more data in 2 weeks

A panel of experts says it is convinced that the Covid-19 vaccine produced by mainland drug company Sinovac is safe, but says it is still waiting for more data more data from the manufacturer.

Panel convenor, Prof. Wallace Lau, said at a press conference earlier today, Feb. 10, that the experts consider CoronaVac to be “safe and effective.”

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However, Lau said the panel would like to get more information about the vaccine, specifically on whether its second dose should be given after 14 days or 28 days, and whether antibodies would be created after the injection.

He said Sinovac has been asked to submit the requested data within the next two weeks, before the panel decides whether to recommend the use of its vaccine in Hong Kong.

CoronaVac was supposed to be the first vaccine to be used in HK

Lau played down concerns that CoronaVac would be approved for use in Hong Kong despite its failure to have the results of its late-stage clinical trials published in a medical journal.

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 He said the panel is made up of 12 experts who based their decision on scientific data, including those from Sinovac’s clinical trials in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia.

 After meeting for three hours earlier, all members reportedly agreed that the level of safety of the vaccine was “acceptable”. This was despite clinical trials in Brazil showing the vaccine to be just 50.65% effective.


CoronaVac was the first vaccine secured by Hong Kong, and should have arrived last month. But the manufacturer’s failure to submit the required data led the government to postpone its procurement of 7.5 million doses of the vaccine.

The vaccine that is now likely to arrive first is the one supplied by Fosun Pharma, BioNTech, which is made in Germany. The first of the 7.5 million doses ordered by Hong Kong is expected to arrive end of this month.

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Another vaccine procured by Hong Kong, AstraZeneca, is scheduled to come in the second half of the year.

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