Tag Archives: Gamaleya

COVID-19 Vaccine Expiry Extension : What You Must Know!

Why COVID-19 Vaccine Shelf Life Keep Getting Extended!

Did you know that COVID-19 vaccine shelf life can be extended beyond what’s printed on the vial, sometimes more than once?

Find out why they keep extending vaccine shelf life, and whether we should be worried about that!

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Shelf Life Is Way Too Short

Based on their experience developing past vaccines, manufacturers have a good idea of how long their vaccines will remain stable and retain their quality and efficacy.

When properly stored, vaccines can last a long time. Most vaccines actually have a shelf life of about three years.

However, vaccine manufacturers have been extraordinarily cautious when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. Many COVID-19 vaccines ship with shelf lives of only 3 to 6 months!

The key takeaway point is that COVID-19 vaccine shelf lives are extraordinarily short. Many healthcare professionals would call them way too short.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Shelf Life Extension Is Normal

The ultra-short shelf life for COVID-19 vaccines have led to criticism that such excessive caution is leading to wastage.

Even while there is a global shortage of vaccines, many doses had to be disposed when they “expired”, even though they are still safe and effective to use.

The WHO has been urging countries to hold onto those “expired doses” while manufacturers are assessing whether their shelf lives can be extended.

The US FDA also points out that vaccines authorised for emergency use do NOT have fixed expiry dates.

Once new stability studies prove that the vaccine remains stable and effective over time, the expiry date of those vaccines can and will be extended.

I should point out that these extended COVID-19 vaccine shelf lives are still very conservative. Perhaps overly conservative.

In fact, we should expect them to keep getting extended as further stability tests show that they do actually last very long.

 

Which COVID-19 Vaccine Has Extended Shelf Life?

You may be surprised to know this, but the shelf life of many COVID-19 vaccines have extended, sometimes more than once.

So do NOT be alarmed if you are given a dose from a vial with an “expired date“. It does NOT mean that you have been given a “bad vaccine”.

It just means that the vaccine has been proven to last much longer than originally expected.

Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY

The Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY vaccine originally had a 6 month shelf life. That was extended by 3 months, to 9 months on 22 August 2021.

On 16 December 2021, the US FDA also extended shelf life for the COMIRNATY vaccine that uses the Tris buffer to 9 months.

So all existing vaccine doses can be used for an additional 3 months beyond their printed expiry dates, as long as they are stored between -90ºC to -60ºC.

Moderna Spikevax

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine originally had a 7 month shelf life.

On 23 December 2021, both UK MHRA and Health Canada extended its shelf life by 2 months, to 9 months, as long as it is stored between -25ºC to -15ºC.

The US FDA also extended the shelf life of certain lots by 2 months, to 9 months, as long as they are stored between -50ºC to -15ºC.

J&J Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine

The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson originally has a 3 month (90-day) shelf life.

The US FDA extended its shelf life to 4.5 months (135 days) on 10 June 2021, and then 6 months (180 days) on 28 July 2021.

All existing vaccine doses can now be used for an additional 1.5 to 3 months (45 to 60 days) beyond their printed expiry dates, as long as they are stored at 2-8ºC.

AstraZeneca Vaxzevria

In May 2021, Health Canada extended the shelf life of about 45,000 AstraZeneca doses by a month, following review of stability data.

It allowed the use of doses with an original expiry date of 31 May 2021, until 1 July 2021.

Otherwise, all AstraZeneca vaccine doses remain with their original shelf life of six months.

Sinovac CoronaVac

The CoronaVac inactivated virus vaccine from Sinovac originally had a 6-month shelf life, which was later extended to 12 months, when it was approved by the WHO.

However, Sinovac appears to give the CoronaVac different shelf lives depending on who’s purchasing their vaccine – 1 year in Malaysia, 2 years in Singapore, and 3 years in Indonesia and Thailand.

Sinopharm BIBP

The Sinopharm BIBP vaccine has a 24-month shelf life, as registered with the WHO. With such a long shelf life, there is no real need for an extension.

CanSino Convidecia

The CanSino Convidecia vaccine has a 24-month shelf life, and remains stable for 60 days at room temperature.

With such a long shelf life, there is no real need for an extension.

SII Covishield

Covishield is a rebranded AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and has the same original 6 month shelf life.

In March 2021, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) extended its shelf life by 3 additional months, to 9 months.

Bharat Covaxin

Covaxin originally had a shelf life of 6 months, but that was extended to 12 months by the Indian Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on 3 November 2021.

All existing vaccine doses can now be used for an additional 6 months beyond their printed expiry dates, as long as they are stored at 2-8ºC.

Sputnik V

The Russian vaccine – Sputnik V originally had an incredibly short 2-month shelf life at -18ºC.

The Russian Healthcare Ministry then allowed it to be stored for 2 months at 2-8ºC, before later extending it to 6 months when stored at -18ºC to -22ºC.

 

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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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Malaysia HALVES Booster Dose Interval To Just 3 Months!

Malaysia just HALVED the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose interval to 3 months!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Malaysia HALVES Booster Dose Interval To Just 3 Months!

The Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) just announced that the existing 6 month booster dose interval is now halved to just 3 months!

Here is a table I created to summarise what they just announced :

Primary Series
Vaccine
Recommended
Booster
Alternative
Booster
Timing After
Primary Series
Pfizer Pfizer Moderna After 3 months
AstraZeneca Pfizer AstraZeneca
Sinovac Pfizer AstraZeneca or
Sinovac
Sinopharm Pfizer AstraZeneca or
Sinopharm *
Moderna Moderna Pfizer
CanSino Pfizer CanSino *
Sputnik V Pfizer AstraZeneca
Janssen Pfizer AstraZeneca After 2 months

* Note : These booster doses are still pending NPRA approval, and are therefore, not available yet.

Read more : Sinovac Booster Dose : Can You Get It? Should You Take It?

 

Who Should Get Booster Dose In Malaysia?

The technical working group also evaluated the latest evidence, and introduced new recommendations for the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

These individuals are advised to receive a booster dose at least 3 months after their primary vaccination.

  • All senior citizens 60 years and above 
  • All adults 18 years and above who received all types of vaccines (Pfizer, AZ and CoronaVac), using the age de-escalation approach
    – 50 years old and above,
    – 40 years old and above, and
    – 18 years old and above
  • Individuals with co-morbidities
  • Residents and employees at long-term care facilities

 

Why Malaysia Reduced The Booster Dose Interval To 3 Months?

KKM made this decision based on the recent RECoVaM study, which showed the waning protection of COVID-19 vaccines, especially the Sinovac vaccine.

They were also concerned about the latest data on the Omicron variant, which showed greater transmissibility, higher viral binding affinity and higher antibody escape.

Evidence collected over the last 3 weeks showed that a booster dose can increase protection against the Omicron variant. And early research involving 21 million booster doses in the UK showed that they are safe.

In line with those results, regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia as well as panels of health experts now recommend that the booster dose vaccination should be given as early as three (3) months after completing the primary vaccine.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

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.

 

Recommended Reading

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Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : 4 June 2021 Edition!

Here is the latest COVID-19 vaccine plan for Malaysia, as announced by the Ministry of Health.

We will keep this article updated over time, so check back for more updates!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Five Vaccines Purchased So Far

Malaysia has so far signed agreements to purchase five vaccines in 2021 :

That is enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to immunise up to 37.85 million people – roughly 118% of the adult population in Malaysia.

This does not mean that there are excess vaccine doses, because Malaysia has also committed to vaccinating foreign residents in Malaysia.

And there will come a time when children may also be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : How To Register?

There are FIVE (5) ways to register for the COVID-19 vaccine plan :

  1. The MySejahtera app.
  2. The Vaksin COVID website.
  3. The telephone hotline : 1800-888-828
  4. Manually at health clinics, hospitals and private clinics
  5. House-to-house registration at targeted rural areas for senior citizens.

Public registration program for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine programme began on 1 March 2021.

Registration for dependents, including domestic helpers (maids), started on 19 March 2021.

Manual registration at private and public clinics, as well as health offices, started on 5 April 2021.

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Phase 2 In Progress!

The Phase 2 public vaccination against COVID-19 kicked off on 19 April 2021, with vaccines from PfizerAstraZeneca and Sinovac.

On 12 April 2021, JKJAV approved the Sinovac vaccine for use in people aged 60 years and above.

On 27 May 2021, JKJAV decided to reintroduce AstraZeneca to the main vaccination programme, after making it optional.

Those selected will be notified by MySejahtera and/or SMS, and given 48 hours to accept their appointments, failing which they will be rescheduled.

You can now check your COVID-19 vaccination appointment and status online using the JKJAV Vaccine Appointment Checker (English / Bahasa Malaysia).

Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccination : How To Check Your Appointment?
Recommended : COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment : 48 Hours To Confirm!

 

COVID-19 Vaccine : How To Register / Remove Dependents?

Here is our video guide on how to register for COVID-19 vaccination for your dependents using MySejahtera.

It’s the same process, whether you are using an Apple iPhone, or an Android smartphone.

Don’t worry about making mistakes. You can redo the registration, to correct for mistakes.

If you wish to remove your vaccine dependent, you can follow our guide here.

Recommended : How To Register Dependents For Vaccine!
Recommended : How To Delete / Migrate Vaccine Dependent?

 

How To Arrange For Joint Vaccine Appointments?

You are allowed to apply for joint vaccine appointments.

All you have to do is call 1800-888-828 to make that request, once you receive the first appointment.

JKJAV will respond within 48 hours. But please DO NOT go the vaccination centre, without the updated appointments.

Recommended : How To Apply For Joint Vaccine Appointments?

 

COVID-19 Vaccination In Malaysia : What’s The Process?

On the day of your COVID-19 vaccination, please go through this “checklist” before heading to the vaccination centre :

  1. Wear loose and comfortable clothes.
  2. Have a good meal and drink some water.
  3. Make sure you do not have a fever, or any other flu-like symptoms.
  4. Bring your smartphone with MySejahtera installed, and your identification – MyKad or passport.
  5. If you have medications for your pre-existing conditions, please bring them too.
  6. Bring your own pen, and something stiff to write on.
  7. Make sure you wear a face mask when you leave your house.
  8. Please DO NOT take painkillers before your vaccination!

The COVID-19 vaccination process is very easy, as the video below demonstrates.

But if you are worried, you can check out our detailed step-by-step explanation of the vaccination process.

Recommended : Can You Take Painkillers Before / After COVID-19 Vaccination?
Recommended :
What Is The Process At The COVID-19 Vaccination Centre?
Recommended : WTCKL Vaccination Centre Guide!
Recommended : UM Vaccination Centre Guide!
Recommended : UKM Bangi Vaccination Centre Guide!

 

COVID-19 Vaccination In Malaysia : Check The Dose!

There have been a few cases where vaccine recipients have been given less than the recommended dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In other cases, it is likely that the vaccine recipients misread the volume of LDV syringes, which are different from regular syringes.

To avoid such misunderstandings, healthcare workers are now asked to show the vaccine recipient the pre-filled syringes before vaccination, and the empty syringe after vaccination.

LDV syringes though, have a special long rubber plunger – the black part. Most people misread it by looking at the tip of this long plunger.

It should be read from the first ring of the LDV plunger, as the picture below shows.

Recommended : How To Read The Volume Of LDV Syringe Correctly?

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine : No Longer Optional!

Due to bad publicity and viral fake news on social media, the government took the AstraZeneca vaccine off the mainstream vaccination programme.

It was made available at special vaccination centres, to anyone aged 18 or older who wishes to accept it voluntarily.

Both the AstraZeneca 1.0 and AstraZeneca 2.0 programmes proved to be so popular, the government decided to reintroduce the vaccine to the main vaccination programme.

The government also announced that the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be set at 12 weeks, instead of 4 weeks.

However, you can ask for an earlier second dose, if you need to travel for work or study.

Recommended : AstraZeneca Second Dose Set At 12 Weeks!
Recommended : Can You Ask For An Earlier Second Dose Of AstraZeneca?

 

How To Report Vaccine Side Effects In MySejahtera

MySejahtera allows you to report side effects, but the option isn’t readily apparent.

So here’s our video guide on how to report vaccine effects in MySejahtera.

It’s the same process, whether you are using an Apple iPhone, or an Android smartphone.

Don’t worry about making mistakes. You can redo the report, to correct for mistakes or update it.

For a pictorial guide, see our article How To Report Vaccine Side Effects In MySejahtera!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : My COVID-19 Vaccination Badge

Those who successfully completed their COVID-19 vaccination will receive :

  • an electronic COVID-19 vaccination certificate in MySejahtera
  • a physical My COVID-19 Vaccination Badge

Recommended : First Look At My COVID-19 Vaccination Badge!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Fund : Up To RM500K!

Officially called Bantuan Khas Kewangan Kesan Mudarat Vakin COVID-19 (Special Financial Assistance for COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Effects), this COVID-19 vaccine injury fund will pay out :

  • RM 50,000 for serious side effects that requires extended hospitalisation
  • RM 500,000 for permanent disability or death from the COVID-19 vaccine

It will receive an initial funding of RM 10 million (US$2.5 million) under the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund.

Recommended : Malaysia Approves COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Fund!

 

Private COVID-19 Vaccines : Free + Paid Options Coming!

The vaccines are currently administered at 600 locations across the country, that consist of :

  • Ministry of Health healthcare facilities
  • Ministry of Defence facilities
  • University hospitals

On 29 March 2021, Malaysia announced that the free COVID-19 vaccines will also be available at private clinics and hospitals starting 19 April 2021.

As of 12 April 2021, over 2300 private clinics have registered to take part in the vaccination programme. The 203 private hospitals in Malaysia could follow suit.

Private hospitals could be allowed to purchase their own COVID-19 vaccines in Q3 or Q4 2021.

Recommended : Private Hospitals + Clinics To Administer COVID-19 Vaccines!
Recommended : FREE + PAID Private COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Three Phases

The Malaysia COVID-19 vaccine program will kick off on 24 February 2021, with the arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine, and last until February 2022.

Phase 1 : 24 February – April 2021

Phase 1 will involve immunising 500,000 front line workers, divided into two groups :

  • Group 1 : public and private healthcare workers
  • Group 2 : frontliners providing essential services and national defence (like teachers, the police, civil defence (RELA), firefighters, rescue workers, and the armed forces).

* Originally scheduled to start in first week of March, it was brought forward to 24 February 2021.

Recommended : Historic First COVID-19 Vaccinations In Malaysia!

Phase 2 : 19 April – August 2021

Phase 2 will focus on immunising 9.4 million high-risk adults, divided into two groups :

  • Group 1 : remaining healthcare workers and frontliners (including defence)
  • Group 2 : senior citizens 60 years or olderdisabled adults, and vulnerable adults with chronic diseases, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and hypertension

This phase kicks off on 19 April 2021, with eligible recipients being notified as early as 5 April 2021.

Phase 3 : May 2021 – February 2022

Phase 3 will make the COVID-19 vaccine available to the rest of the population :

  • adults 18 years or older
    – prioritised from red zones > yellow zones > green zones

This may be the last phase, but it is the most critical phase to build herd immunity that will protect the rest of the population that cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine : FREE For ALL Citizens + Foreign Residents

The COVID-19 vaccines will be provided FREE for all Malaysian citizens, as well as foreign residents.

Registration for domestic helpers (maids) started on 19 March 2021.

On top of that, vulnerable foreigners will be included in Phase 2 of the vaccination programme.

Recommended : FREE COVID-19 Vaccine For All Foreign Residents In Malaysia!
Recommended : Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccination : Foreigners In Phase 2 Too!

 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Plan For Malaysia : Both Doses Reserved

On 13 February 2021, Dr. Kalaiarasu Periasamy, the Director of the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) announced the Malaysia Ministry of Health’s “One Dose Injected, One Dose Reserved” strategy.

Two doses will be reserved for each person, with the second dose administered 21 days after the first dose, as recommended by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The second dose for the Sinovac vaccine will be administered 14 days after the first dose.

The second dose for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered 12 weeks after the first dose.

When you arrive to a vaccination centre, you will be registered for both doses. You will be given a vaccination card, and registered in the MySejahtera app as well.

Recommended : Malaysia Will Follow Pfizer Two-Dose Vaccine Schedule!

 

Malaysia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan : Path To 80% Coverage

Malaysia originally aimed to achieve vaccination coverage of 82.8% of the adult population, approximately 26.5 million people.

But in their 5 February 2021 update, the Ministry of Health now aim to immunise 25.6 million people – 80% of the adult population, or about 76.6% of the population.

If they succeed, this would put Malaysia somewhere between the minimum 70% and the ideal 80% immunisation targets that many scientists believe are necessary to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.

Path To 80% COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage

This is what the COVID-19 vaccine supply will be like for the adult population in Malaysia :

  • 46.4% will receive the COMIRNATY vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech
  • 34.9% will receive the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac Biotech
  • 9.3% will receive the AZD1222 vaccine from AstraZeneca-Oxford
  • 9.3% will receive the Sputnik V vaccine from Gamaleya Research Institute.

Why So Many Vaccines?

According to KKM, they decided to purchase from different vaccine manufacturers to ensure a sufficient supply of vaccines.

We had earlier pointed out that it was impossible for any one, or two, or even three vaccine manufacturer to manufacture enough vaccines to vaccinate the entire world.

It only makes sense that Malaysia will need to purchase from multiple companies to receive enough doses to vaccinate its population.

The only problem with using six different vaccines? Healthcare workers and logistics will need to keep track and deal with different administration and storage requirements.

While it may be possible to avoid that by allocating different vaccines by location, it would make for poor optics and possibly poorer uptake of the vaccination program.

 

COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!

Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from the SARS-CoV-2 virus :

Recommended : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Recommended : Surgical Mask : How To CORRECTLY Wear + Remove!
Recommended : COVID-19 Food Safety : Fruits, Vegetables, Takeouts

 

Revision History

2021-06-04 : Vaccine underdose, LDV syringe reading, vaccine dependent registration and removal, AstraZeneca vaccine, painkillers, many other changes

2021-04-28 : Vaccination process, joint vaccinations, AstraZeneca vaccine, other changes
2021-04-14 : Phase 2 vaccination updates, side effect reporting, vaccination appointments, private clinics + hospitals
2021-04-06 : Details of CanSino Convidecia vaccine. Manual registration at private and public clinics.
2021-03-30 : Phase 2 details, free + paid vaccines at private clinics and hospitals.
2021-03-25 : New vaccine purchases, vaccine injury fund, domestic helper registration.
2021-03-18 : My COVID-19 Vaccination Badge, dependent registration.
2021-02-12 : 5 ways to sign up for COVID-19 vaccination programme
2021-02-05 : KKM’s plan to immunise 25.6 million people in Malaysia.
2021-01-28 : CoronaVac and Sputnik V vaccine purchase.
2021-01-12 : Added the additional purchase of the Pfizer vaccine.
Originally posted @ 2020-12-31

 

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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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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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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.

 

Recommended Reading

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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 18.4 Million CoronaVac + Sputnik V Doses!

Malaysia just purchased 18.4 million doses of the CoronaVac and Sputnik V vaccines against COVID-19!

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

 

Malaysia Vaccine Plan Changes With CoronaVac and Sputnik V Orders

Originally, the Ministry of Health planned to vaccinate 82.8% of the population using six COVID-19 vaccines :

  • 20% will receive the BNT162b2 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech
  • 10% will receive the AZD1222 vaccine from AstraZeneca-Oxford
  • 10% will receive vaccines secured through the COVAX facility
  • 22% will receive the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac BioTech.
  • 10.8% will receive the Convidecia vaccine from CanSino Biologics.
  • 10% will receive the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine from Gamaleya Research Institute.

But with the doubled purchase of the Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccine, Malaysia will purchase fewer vaccines from Sinovac, CanSino or Gamaleya.

The first casualty appears to be Sinovac BioTech, with Malaysia trimming their planned order from 14 million doses to 12 million doses.

 

Malaysia Buys 18.4 Million CoronaVac + Sputnik V Doses!

On 26 January 2021, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) signed terms sheets for the purchase of the CoronaVac and Sputnik V vaccines.

Unlike the direct purchase deal with Pfizer, KKM will be obtaining those vaccines through two intermediary companies :

  • Pharmaniaga Lifescience Sdn. Bhd. for the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac Biotech
  • Duopharma (M) Sdn. Bhd. for the Sputnik V vaccine from Gamaleya Research Institute

Pharmaniaga is expected to supply 12 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine in stages, beginning in April 2021. This should cover up to 6 million people, approximately 18.75% of the adult population.

Duopharma is expected to supply 6.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in stages, beginning in March 2021. This should cover up to 3.2 million people, approximately 10% of the adult population.

With 25 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine purchased, Malaysia will have enough to vaccinate about 21.7 million people, or ⅔ of the adult population.

 

CoronaVac COVID-19 Vaccine : A Quick Primer

Developed by Sinovac, CoronaVac is an inactivated virus vaccine – an older method of creating vaccines.

The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are cultured (grown) in Vero cells, and inactivated (killed) before being administered as a vaccine.

The CoronaVac vaccine only needs to be refrigerated at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F), which makes it easy to distribute.

This is a 2-dose vaccine, which the second dose delivered 14 days after the first.

 

Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine : A Quick Primer

Sputnik V (also known as Gam-COVID-Vac) was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia.

It is a two-dose vaccine that uses two human adenoviruses (Ad26 and Ad5) to deliver the gene that encodes the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The first dose uses the Ad26 adenovirus, followed 21 days later by the second dose which uses the Ad5 adenovirus to boost the immune response.

This vaccine must be kept frozen at −18 °C (0 °F), with a special freeze-dried formulation (Gam-COVID-Vac-Lyo) for storage at 2–8 °C (36–46 °F).

 

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