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Malaysia Approves CanSino + J&J COVID-19 Vaccines!

Malaysia Approves CanSino + J&J COVID-19 Vaccines!

KKM has conditionally approved the CanSino and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines for use in Malaysia!

Find out what this means for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Malaysia!

 

Malaysia Approves CanSino + J&J COVID-19 Vaccines!

On 15 June 2021, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) announced that both the CanSino and Johnson & Johnson vaccines against COVID1-9 received conditional approval :

  1. Convidecia Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector)
    Registrant : Solution Biologics Sdn. Bhd.
    Manufacturer : CanSino Biologics Inc, China
  2. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
    Registrant : None (under COVAX Facility)
    Manufacturer : NA

Interestingly, both of these are single dose vaccines, which should make for easier and faster COVID-19 vaccinations.

 

CanSino + J&J COVID-19 Vaccines : A Quick Primer

The CanSino Convidecia vaccine works similarly to other viral vector vaccines, like the AstraZeneca AZD1222 and Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccines.

It uses a modified Ad5 virus containing the DNA instructions for the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike, which are then created by your own cells and presented on their surfaces.

These “foreign” protein spikes triggers the body’s immune system, which then makes antigens to target these spikes.

Recommended : CanSino COVID-19 Vaccine : What You Need To Know!

The Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is similar to the CanSino Convidecia vaccine, except it uses a modified Ad26 virus to carry the DNA instructions for the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike.

Once injected, the DNA instructions are used to manufacture the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is presented on the cell surface to trigger our immune system.

The antibodies they create will attack the real SARS-CoV-2 virus, which would prevent or mitigate an infection.

 

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Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!

The public is obsessed over COVID-19 vaccine efficacy rates, but the truth is – they don’t actually matter!

Find out what COVID-19 vaccine efficacy really mean, and what really MATTERS MORE!

Updated @ 2021-04-17 : Added a new Breakthrough Calculation section, and updated the Vaccine Efficacy section.

Originally posted @ 2021-03-07

 

Vaccine Efficacy vs Effectiveness : What’s The Difference?

Vaccine efficacy is the reduction in disease (in percentage) that occurs in a vaccinated group under optimal conditions, compared to an unvaccinated group.

Do not confuse it with vaccine effectiveness, which is the real world ability of the vaccine to prevent the disease.

Vaccine effectiveness may be lowered by underlying chronic conditions, medication, age, and even how the vaccine is stored and administered.

Recommended : Overview of Vaccine Efficacy and Vaccine Effectiveness (WHO)

 

Vaccine Efficacy : What Does It Mean?

The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines passed their Phase 3 trials with 94% to 95% efficacy rates, but what does that mean?

The efficacy rate is actually a calculation of the vaccine’s ability to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 infection, based on the clinical trial data and the COVID-19 attack rate.

The public often miss the importance of the COVID-19 attack rate, and therefore misunderstand the vaccine efficacy rate.

For example, in a trial involving 100,000 vaccinated participants and a COVID-19 attack rate of 1%, here is the difference between perception and reality :

Vaccine
Efficacy
Breakthrough Infections
Perception Reality
95% 5,000 50
90% 10,000 100
85% 15,000 150
80% 20,000 200
75% 25,000 250

While the public look at a 75% efficacy rate and think that it means 25% of those vaccinated will still get infected, the truth is only 0.25% of those vaccinated will get infected, with a 1% attack rate.

This is why we should leave the science to the professionals, and not pretend that a few hours of looking up Google will replace years of actual study and experience.

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccine : Which Should YOU Choose?

 

Vaccine Efficacy : How To Calculate Breakthrough Rate?

Now, you might expect the breakthrough rate to be calculated simply by deducting the efficacy rate from 100%, like so :

  • 95% vaccine efficacy = 5% breakthrough infections
  • 75% vaccine efficacy = 25% breakthrough infections
  • 50% vaccine efficacy = 50% breakthrough infections

However, the vaccine breakthrough infection rate is actually calculated by this formula :

(100% – Vaccine Efficacy %) x Attack Rate

Because the attack rate for COVID-19 is relatively low at about 1%, the expected breakthrough rate is much lower than you would expect.

Vaccine
Efficacy
Breakthrough Rate
Perception Reality
95% 5% 0.05%
90% 10% 0.10%
85% 15% 0.15%
80% 20% 0.20%
75% 25% 0.25%

 

Vaccine Efficacy Blinds Us To What Matters More!

The public is obsessed over COVID-19 vaccine efficacy rates, but the truth is – they don’t actually matter!

To be clear, COVID-19 vaccine efficacy is important, just not to us. That’s because it refers to the vaccine’s ability to protect against any symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Regulatory bodies around the world set a minimum threshold of 50% efficacy against symptomatic infection for the approval of any COVID-19 vaccine.

However, that has confused many people into thinking that the authorities are taking shortcuts in giving us vaccines that barely work.

Come on – 50% efficacy? That’s like rolling the dice at the roulette table, right? That’s really NOT the case.

We prepared this table to show you how misleading efficacy rates are.

COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Against
Symptomatic
Infection
Severe
Disease
Death
Pfizer Comirnaty 95.0% 100% 100%
Gamaleya Sputnik V 91.6% 100% 100%
Moderna mRNA-1273 94.1% 100% 100%
AstraZeneca AZD1222 62% ~ 90% 100% 100%
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 79% ~ 86% 90% 100%
Sinovac Biotech 50.65% 83.7% 100%
J&J Janssen COVID-19 66.0% 85% 100%
CanSino Biologics 65.7% 90.98% 100%

 

Forget Efficacy, Focus On Severe Disease + Death!

The truth is all approved vaccines will protect you against severe disease, and prevent you from dying from COVID-19.

It would be really nice if you get a vaccine that protects you against even mild COVID-19, but not getting killed by it sounds pretty awesome to us!

Ultimately, whether we decide to get vaccinated should NOT depend on the vaccine’s efficacy, but its ability to protect us against severe disease or death.

Irrespective of what vaccine you receive, the table shows that they will protect you against DEATH and greatly protect you against severe COVID-19 disease.

So, instead of arguing over which COVID-19 vaccine is better, and demanding the right to choose, just take the FIRST vaccine you can get, and COMPLETE it!

Think of the COVID-19 vaccine as body armour. When you are in a firefight, do you really want to wait until you find the body armour you prefer, or would you rather wear the first one you come across?

No matter how “pathetic” or “ratty” the first body armour you find “looks” to you, it will definitely protect you better than a plain t-shirt, won’t it?

So take the first COVID-19 vaccine you are offered, and complete it. It will protect you against death and severe COVID-19 disease!

 

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Which COVID-19 Vaccine Should YOU Choose?

Now that there are several COVID-19 vaccine options, people are demanding for the right to choose.

But should you be given the option to choose, which COVID-19 vaccine should you choose?

2021-04-13 : Updated with new information.

Originally posted @ 2021-03-02

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : So Many To Choose From?

Several COVID-19 vaccine candidates successfully completed their Phase 3 trials, and have received EUA (Emergency Use Authorisation) from various countries.

Company Brand Name Other Name EUA Full
Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty BNT162b2 101 5
Oxford-AstraZeneca AZD1222 101 1
Gamaleya Research
Institute
Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac 60 3
Moderna mRNA-1273 40 2
Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Ad26.COV2.S 40 0
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 38 4
Sinovac Biotech CoronaVac 27 1
CanSino Biologics Convidecia Ad5-nCoV 5 1

Many countries ordered several vaccine candidates at the same time, because a single vaccine manufacturer cannot possibly provide enough vaccines to cover an entire population.

Malaysia, for instance, purchased five COVID-19 vaccine candidates :

However, with multiple COVID-19 vaccine types being deployed, it has given people the idea that they should have the right to pick and choose the vaccine.

So which should YOU choose?

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : Which Should YOU Choose?

Most countries will provide the COVID-19 vaccines FREE of charge, but the type of vaccine used will depend on what’s available – you are NOT allowed to pick and choose.

Even so, many people are demanding the right to pick and choose their COVID-19 vaccine. Some are demanding the right to pay for what they believe are the ‘superior’ vaccine.

But guess what…

The BEST vaccine you can take is the FIRST vaccine you can get, and COMPLETE.

Here are the reasons why…

Reason #1 : Early Protection Offers The Best Protection

Think of the COVID-19 pandemic as an alien invasion, and the vaccine as body armour that protects you against their attacks.

When you are under attack, do you put on the first body armour you find, or do you wait until you find the body armour you like the best?

Cpl. Daniel M. Greenwald survived this sniper shot thanks to his helmet!

The fact is – even “substandard” body armour will offer you FAR MORE protection than no body armour at all!

After all, you could end up getting killed by COVID-19, before your preferred body armour arrives. What’s the point of getting the vaccine you want if you are already infected or dead?

Don’t believe us? A team of scientists actually did a study on this, concluding that “waiting for a vaccine with a higher efficacy results in additional hospitalizations and costs over the course of the pandemic“.

Reason #2 : All Approved Vaccines Protect You Against Severe Disease + Death

Regulatory bodies around the world set a minimum threshold of 50% efficacy against symptomatic infection for the approval of any COVID-19 vaccine.

However, that has confused people into thinking that the authorities are taking shortcuts in giving us vaccines that barely work.

Come on – 50% efficacy? That’s like rolling the dice at the roulette table, right? That’s really NOT the case.

We prepared this table to show you how misleading efficacy rates are.

Recommended : Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!

COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Against
Symptomatic
Infection
Severe
Disease
Death
Pfizer Comirnaty 95.0% 100% 100%
Moderna mRNA-1273 94.1% 100% 100%
Gamaleya Sputnik V 91.6% 100% 100%
AstraZeneca AZD1222 76% ~ 85% 100% 100%
Novavax Covovax 60 ~ 89% 100% 100%
CanSino Convidecia 65.7% 90.98% 100%
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 79% ~ 86% 90% 100%
J&J Janssen COVID-19 66.0% 85% 100%
Sinovac CoronaVac 50.65% 83.7% 100%

The truth is all approved vaccines will protect you against severe disease, and prevent you from dying from COVID-19.

It would be really nice if you get a vaccine that protects you against even mild COVID-19, but not getting killed by it sounds pretty awesome to us!

Reason #3 : Vaccines Are In Limited Supply

COVID-19 vaccines are in limited supply, and there does not appear to be enough to vaccinate most countries until well into 2022.

Therefore, the possibility of vaccines being made available for private sale that you can pick and choose is remote, at least until 2022.

This is a pandemic – a global health crisis. The lives of trillions of people around the world come before your “right to choose”.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : Don’t Choose. Get Yours ASAP!

It really does NOT matter which COVID-19 vaccine you get.

As long as it is an approved vaccine and you complete the dosing requirement, it will prevent you from getting severe COVID-19, or dying from it.

Instead of waiting for a particular COVID-19 vaccine, get the first one offered to you.

Don’t worry, when COVID-19 vaccines are available for sale, you can choose whichever vaccine you want and re-vaccinate yourself to your heart’s content!

 

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Chinese Vaccine Efficacy Not High? What Are The Facts?

Did Chinese CDC director, Gao Fu, admit that Chinese vaccine efficacy is “not high”?

Find out what’s the latest controversy surrounding Chinese vaccines, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Chinese CDC Director : Vaccine Efficacy Not High

On 10 April 2021, Gao Fu – the director of the Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention – gave a talk on the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines at a conference in Chengdu, China.

He said that “the protection rates of existing vaccines are not high“, and suggested several options to improve their efficacy :

  • increasing the number of doses
  • adjusting the dosage
  • adjusting the interval between doses
  • mixing different vaccines

When that was picked up by International media, he told Chinese state media, Global Times, that his admission that Chinese vaccines had poor protection was “a complete misunderstanding“.

 

Chinese Vaccine Efficacy : The Current Facts

Now, let’s examine what we currently know about Chinese vaccine efficacy against COVID-19.

Fact #1 : Chinese Vaccines Are Mostly Comparable

Sinophiles and Chinese state media often claim that Chinese vaccines are superior, while Sinophobes insist that Chinese vaccines are junk.

The truth is – Chinese vaccines are far from the best, but are mostly comparable with Western vaccines that use older inactivated or viral vector technologies.

The outlier is CoronaVac from Sinovac Biologics, which barely made it past the 50% minimum efficacy line.

COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy
Pfizer Comirnaty 95.0%
Moderna mRNA-1273 94.1%
Gamaleya Sputnik V 91.6%
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 79% ~ 86%
AstraZeneca AZD1222 76% ~ 85%
Novavax Covovax 60 ~ 89%
J&J Janssen COVID-19 66.0%
CanSino Convidecia 65.7%
Sinovac CoronaVac 50.65%

Fact #2 : Efficacy Blinds People To What’s Really Important

The public is obsessed over COVID-19 vaccine efficacy rates, but they are blind to what’s really important – protection against severe disease and death!

As this table shows, efficacy rates don’t tell the full story. The truth is that all these vaccines will protect you against severe disease, and prevent you from dying from COVID-19!

Even the worst Chinese vaccine in this table – the CoronaVac – has strong protection against severe disease, and completely protects against death!

Recommended : Why COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Does NOT Matter!

COVID-19 Vaccine Protection Against
Symptomatic
Infection
Severe
Disease
Death
Pfizer Comirnaty 95.0% 100% 100%
Moderna mRNA-1273 94.1% 100% 100%
Gamaleya Sputnik V 91.6% 100% 100%
AstraZeneca AZD1222 76% ~ 85% 100% 100%
Novavax Covovax 60 ~ 89% 100% 100%
CanSino Convidecia 65.7% 90.98% 100%
Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV 79% ~ 86% 90% 100%
J&J Janssen COVID-19 66.0% 85% 100%
Sinovac CoronaVac 50.65% 83.7% 100%

Fact #3 : Vaccine Efficacy Varies Against Virus Strains

All these COVID-19 vaccines are designed to target the original virus strain, whose genetic code was sequenced and released by Chinese scientists on 12 January 2020.

However, since then, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread globally and infected over 136 million people as of 12 April 2021.

Each infection represents an opportunity for the virus to mutate into new variants, some of which have changed behaviour or capability – creating a new strain.

Credit : The Conversation

Each new strain that develops has a chance to become more infectious, more lethal, and reduce the effectiveness of current vaccines.

That’s what Gao Fu is most likely referring to, and is a genuine concern for health authorities and vaccine manufacturers.

That’s why it is so important to quickly vaccinate people – so herd immunity can be achieved before a resistant strain develops!

Recommended : Which COVID-19 Vaccine Should YOU Choose?

Fact #4 : “Improved” Vaccines Are Being Developed

New strains may have new physical characteristics that allow them to evade the immune system of people vaccinated against the original strain.

So new, “improved” vaccines are being developed to target these new strains that are becoming more prevalent.

They are not actually “better” than current vaccines – they have just been modified to take into account the changes in the new strains.

What Gao Fu suggested in the conference are alternative methods to improving vaccine efficacy without developing an improved vaccine.

  • increasing the number of doses
  • adjusting the dosage
  • adjusting the interval between doses
  • mixing different vaccines

This would, arguably, allow for faster deployment since the Chinese can make use of their existing vaccines, and skip the development of an improved vaccine.

Such changes in vaccine protocol would, of course, require testing to establish their (improved) efficacy against the new variants / strains.

Fact #5 : Chinese Lack Of Transparency Is The Issue

The big problem with Chinese vaccines is not that they are less efficacious. The problem is that the Chinese have not been transparent about their vaccines.

Even though they were amongst the first to begin testing in 2020, they only released the RESULTS of their trials in press releases, refusing to release the actual data.

Only at the end of March 2021 did Sinopharm and Sinovac release data to the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE).

As of 12 April 2021, not a single Chinese manufacturer has publicly published the trial data for their vaccine.

All this eats into public confidence over Chinese vaccines. Why won’t any Chinese manufacturer release the trial data for their vaccine?

After all, all approved Western and Russian vaccines have publicly done so – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and even Gamaleya.

 

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Malaysia Buys 3.5 Million CanSino COVID-19 Vaccine Doses!

Malaysia just purchased 3.5 million doses of the CanSino Convidecia vaccine against COVID-19!

Get the details of this new vaccine deal, and find out what it means for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Malaysia!

 

Malaysia Buys 3.5 Million Doses Of CanSino COVID-19 Vaccine!

On 1 April 2021, the Malaysia Minister of Health, Dr. Adham Baba, announced the purchase of 3.5 million doses of the CanSino COVID-19 vaccine.

This deal will be divided into two stages :

  • 500,000 finished doses, starting in April 2021
  • 3 million doses to be filled and finished by Solutions Biologics Sdn. Bhd. (SolBio)

Photo Credit : Bernama

 

CanSino COVID-19 Vaccine : Where Will It Be Used In Malaysia?

The CanSino Convidecia is a single-dose vaccine, so the 3.5 million doses will be enough to vaccinate 10.9% of the adult population in Malaysia.

It also requires only standard refrigeration at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F), which makes it easy to distribute.

Therefore, the Malaysia Ministry of Health plans to use the CanSino vaccine in rural areas, and areas where recipients find it difficult to come twice for their vaccinations.

They are also planning to use it to vaccinate foreigners in Malaysia.

Recommended : CanSino COVID-19 Vaccine : What You Need To Know!

 

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CanSino COVID-19 Vaccine : What You Need To Know!

China recently approved the CanSino Convidecia vaccine for general use, and several countries around the world have purchased it.

In this article, we will answer your frequently asked questions about this Chinese-made vaccine!

Find out how the Convidecia vaccine works, and how effective it really is against COVID-19!

 

CanSino Convidecia Vaccine : What Is It?

Developed by CanSino Biologics, Convidecia is a viral vector vaccine, that uses a modified Ad5 virus to deliver the blueprint for the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, CoronaVac only needs to be refrigerated at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F), which makes it easy to distribute.

In addition, it only requires a single dose, which makes it easier to fully vaccinate large populations

On 25 February 2021, China approved the Convedicia vaccine for general use.

 

CanSino Convidecia Vaccine : How Does It Work?

The CanSino Convidecia vaccine works similarly to other viral vector vaccines, like the AstraZeneca AZD1222 and Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccines.

It uses a modified Ad5 virus containing the DNA instructions for the protein spikes of the SARS-CoV-2.

Once injected, the Ad5 virus introduces the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike DNA to the cell nucleus, where it is decoded to create the mRNA instructions.

Then, just like the mRNA vaccines, the cell’s ribosomes use those mRNA instructions to manufacture the SARS-CoV-2 protein spikes, which are then presented on the cell surface.

These “foreign” protein spikes triggers the body’s immune system, which then makes antigens to target these spikes.

 

CanSino Convidecia Vaccine : What Are Its Side Effects?

According to its Phase 1 trial results, volunteers reported only these side effects :

  • injection site pain
  • mild to severe fever (up to grade 3)
  • headache
  • mild to severe fatigue (up to grade 3)
  • muscle and joint pain
  • throat pain and cough

However, they were generally well-tolerated, with no incidences of hypersensitivity to the vaccine.

 

CanSino Convidecia Vaccine : How Effective Is It?

Unfortunately, there have been no publicly released trial data on the CanSino vaccine’s efficacy. Only what they chose to release in their press statements.

According to CanSino Biologics, here is the efficacy of the Convidecia vaccine in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease :

  • 2 weeks after vaccination : 68.83% efficacy
  • 4 weeks after vaccination : 65.28% efficacy

 

CanSino Convidecia Vaccine : Should You Take It?

Yes, if approved by the health authority of your country, you should take it.

The CanSino vaccine may have lower efficacy than the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine, but it is still an effective vaccine.

The key thing you should note is that it has been proven to prevent severe or fatal COVID-19 disease.

And it offers about 91% protection against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease that requires medical treatment.

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccine : Which Should YOU Choose?

 

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