Sinovac Vaccine Is Cheaper, Not Better, So Why Bother?

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The Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine is now cheaper, thanks to a price limit that kicks off today!

However, it is still not a very good COVID-19 vaccine, so why bother? Here is what you must know…


Sinovac + Sinopharm Vaccines Now Cheaper!

For some time now, people have been complaining about the prices of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, which ranged from RM95 to RM190 per dose.

So the government of Malaysia set price limits for both Chinese vaccines that take effect today, Saturday, 15 January 2022.

Note : These price limits do NOT include service charge and the cost of disposables used during the administration of the vaccine.

Vaccine Maximum Price
Per Dose
Wholesale Retail
Sinovac CoronaVac RM 62 RM 77
Sinopharm COVILO RM 49 RM 61

While this is great news for people who want Chinese vaccines, I should point out that this does not make the Sinovac CoronaVac a better vaccine. It is just cheaper to buy, not better.

The truth is – Sinovac CoronaVac is not a good COVID-19 vaccine, which is why the National COVID-19 Immunisation Program (PICK) no longer offers it.

In this article, I will show you why we should NOT bother with the Sinovac vaccine, even if it’s cheaper… and what Chinese vaccine you should opt for, if you must absolutely get a Chinese vaccine.

Sinovac Vaccine Is Cheaper, Not Better, So Why Bother?


Sinovac Vaccine Is Cheaper, Not Better, So Why Bother?

Here is a quick summary of why the Sinovac CoronaVac vaccine was, at best, a temporary solution until better vaccines become available.

Only 50% Effective Against Ancestral COVID-19

Even when it was first approved, the Sinovac vaccine offered just over 50% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. It was literally, the least efficacious COVID-19 vaccine in the world.

Read more : CoronaVac Vaccine by Sinovac : Your Questions Answered!

Efficacy Drops After 2 Months

The massive RECoVaM study recently showed that its limited efficacy dropped precipitously after two months, with a big drop in protection against hospitalisation.

Read more : RECoVaM Study Highlights How Well COVID-19 Vaccines Work!

Sinovac Vaccine Efficacy Rapidly Drops After 2 Months!

Not Efficacious Against Omicron + Beta Variants

Despite claims that its antibodies can bypass mutations in the spike protein, antibodies from the Sinovac vaccine was shown to be completely unable to neutralise the Omicron and Beta variants of COVID-19.

Read more : Pfizer / Sinovac vs. Omicron : What HKU Study Just Revealed!

Seropositive Rate MN Titer (GMT)
Pfizer Sinovac Pfizer Sinovac
HKU691 Omicron 20% 0% 5.43 Min.
24% 0% 6.42 Min.
Delta 100% 68% 124.7 10.3
Beta 100% 0% 25.7 Min.
Alpha 100% 100% 229.4 21.7

Three Doses Not Enough Against Omicron

Even three doses of the Sinovac vaccine was recently shown to be insufficient to protect against the Omicron variant.

Read more : Pfizer vs. Sinovac : Which Is Better Against Omicron Variant?

Pfizer vs Sinovac Booster Dose Omicron study results circled


For Travel To China : Sinopharm Is Cheaper + Better Than Sinovac

When we lacked access to better vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the Sinovac vaccine was better than nothing.

But now that Malaysia is offering far superior COVID-19 vaccines for FREE, why should we settle for less effective vaccines?

The popularity of Chinese vaccines is partly due to Chinese propaganda, and partly because China offers travel advantages for people vaccinated with Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines.

China initially would only allow travellers who were fully-vaccinated with Chinese vaccines to enter. This forced people who want to travel to China to use only Chinese vaccines.

Fact Check : Top 4 COVID-19 Vaccines Are From China?

China has since relaxed their restrictions by allowing travellers who are fully-vaccinated with non-Chinese vaccines to enter as well, but considers them no different from unvaccinated people:

  • those who received inactivated virus vaccines (Sinovac / Sinopharm) are allowed to take only one PCR test before flying to China
  • everyone else, whether partially- or fully-vaccinated with other kinds of COVID-19 vaccines, or completely unvaccinated, are required to take three PCR tests or two PCR tests and an antibody test, before flying to China

In other words, China is offering people fully-vaccinated with Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines the special privilege of avoiding two additional PCR tests, which is a big advantage.

Hence, people who need to travel to China are still FORCED to pay for Sinovac / Sinopharm vaccines – the only COVID-19 vaccines available worldwide that use inactivated virus technology.

So here is my advice. If you have to travel to China, opt for the Sinopharm vaccine. It is not only cheaper than Sinovac, it is a far better COVID-19 vaccine!

Vaccine Ancestral Delta Variant Omicron Variant
Infection Severe
Infection Severe
Infection Severe
Sinopharm COVILO 68% 73% 67% 71% 35% 53%
Sinovac CoronaVac 47% 50% 46% 49% 24% 37%


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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