Published in El Pais, 24 April 2021.
In recent weeks, news came in that Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine is not as effective as everyone thought. While Pfizer and Moderna vaccines consistently give efficacy numbers greater than 90%, Coronavac’s hardly ever reach 50%. Now, analyzing the numbers in Chile, the United States and the United Kingdom, the differences are also seen.
Chile at this moment have around 71 vaccines for every 100 people. a higher number than the United States and the United Kingdom, which have 65/100. Chile has proven to be very efficient with vaccination. however, the results are not the best. Unfortunately, the number of infections and deaths in Chile are increasing and this is alarming. It is not that the vaccine itself causes deaths, but, most likely, people who have received the Coronavac vaccine think they are safe and this is not the case. On average, one in two people who have received the vaccine is truly protected, the other is not. While in the United States and the United Kingdom the number of new deaths every day is decreasing, Chile does not see this result. In the United Kingdom they are in less than 70 deaths per week and in the United States in 4,000 thousand (with 18 times more population than Chile) and falling. But Chile is at 840 and up.
It is not necessary to do the calculation in detail, it is obvious that something is not right. And it is very likely due to the vaccine that does not give enough protection. Let’s imagine that a possible explanation is that it is a new strain of covid-19 that only manifests itself in Latin America. But if this were the case, it would very quickly reach other countries, will it affect the United States or Europe the same? So far it has not. It is also possible that Sinovac is not as good as some studies have shown us.
What do we do? We could blame Sinovac for selling a product that is not as effective as we thought. And in the meantime, what do we do? I think the best thing is to keep vaccinating, while looking for alternatives with other vaccines. The cost of closing the economy is high, so it is worth changing the vaccine.