A new Chinese vaccine, developed by Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., has been shown to be nearly 82% effective in preventing severe forms of Covid-19 in trials, which may prove useful in the country’s inoculation efforts.

On Friday, the company issued a statement saying that its vaccine against Covid-19 was found in trials to be 81.76% effective in preventing infections deemed ‘severe’. It is the first data shared publicly by the Chinese company. Its vaccine was approved for use by Beijing in March.  

The three-dose vaccine, which is administered over a two-month period, proved to be 92.93% effective against the Alpha variant and nearly 78% effective against the mutant Delta strain.

The final stage trial involved 28,000 participants from China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Pakistan and  Uzbekistan. The firm said 221 infections were recorded among those who had received all three doses of the vaccine, with none severe enough to require critical medical care. It also said there were no fatalities among those who received the jab.

Zhifei’s filing did not reveal how many participants contracted each variant of the virus.  

The vaccine uses similar technology to the American Novavax shot, and its developers say that 100 million doses have already been administered.The positive data will likely come as a boost to Chinese authorities amid concerns about the long-term effectiveness of the Sinovac shot and several efficacy issues related to the Sinopharm jab. 

Earlier on Friday, Chinese authorities announced that the milestone of 2 billion administered doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been reached. Nearly 900 million people are now fully inoculated in China, although some experts have suggested a third dose campaign will be required. 

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