China's is considering mixing the Covid-19 vaccines to boost the vaccine's efficacy.
Current data shows that the Chinese vaccines still lag behind Pfizer and Moderna in terms of efficacy but require less stringent temperature controlling measures during storage.
Giving people doses of different vaccines is one way to improve vaccines that "don't have a very high rate of protection," said Gao Fu, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention director, without specifying which vaccines he was referring to.
Gao also said that they might "optimise" the vaccine process, including changing the number of doses and lengths between doses to solve the efficacy issues.
Sinovac Biotech's two-dose Covid-19 vaccine is given slightly shorter than three weeks apart was 49.1% based on Phase III trial in Brazil, below the 50% threshold set by the World Health Organisation.
However, data from a small subgroup showed that the efficacy rate increased to 62.3% when the doses were given at intervals of three weeks or longer.
No detailed efficacy data has been released on vaccines made by China’s Sinopharm. Two vaccines developed by its units are 79.4% and 72.5% effective, respectively, based on interim results.
“How to improve the protection rate of vaccines is a problem that requires global scientists to consider,” Gao said, adding that mixing vaccines and adjusting immunisation methods are solutions that he had proposed.
Gao also rejected claims by some media reports that he said Chinese COVID-19 vaccines have a low protection rate, telling Global Times that it was “a complete misunderstanding.”