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Home The News News Study says Medigen jab as effective as others

Study says Medigen jab as effective as others

Taiwan’s indigenously developed Medigen COVID-19 vaccine is as effective in preventing deaths and serious symptoms as mRNA shots, a study to be published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal next month showed.

An early release of the study is available on the Web site of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.

The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), utilized data from Taiwan’s records of inoculations, hospitalizations and deaths since the local outbreak of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in 2022.

A syringe of Medigen’s COVID-19 vaccine is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: Taipei Times

CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said that the protein subunit-based Medigen vaccine had an effectiveness of 91 percent after three jabs.

The mRNA-based BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were 95.8 and 81 percent effective after three jabs respectively, while the viral vector-based AstraZeneca vaccine was 65.7 percent effective, Lo said.

The CDC study also found that Medigen and mRNA jabs had a longer efficacy period than the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said.

The research is the world’s first big data study on the efficacy of mRNA, protein-subunit and viral-vector COVID-19 vaccines that draw from real-world outcomes, he said, adding that the findings might boost the development of new protein-subunit vaccines, including Novavax.

The study vindicates the Medigen vaccine, which was unfairly criticized in the nation, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) told an event marking the inking of a strategic alliance between Taiwan Bio-Manufacturing Corp (台灣生物醫藥製造) and US-based National Resilience Inc.

Taiwan handled its local outbreak with a conventional strategy, which proved successful in containing the virus’ spread and protecting economic growth, he said, adding that the nation has received international accolades for its accomplishment.

The COVID-19 pandemic showed that having pharmaceutical research capability without an industrial base to manufacture medicines at scale would not be enough to meet Taiwan’s needs, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said.

The ability to mass produce medical drugs is crucial to public health as well as national security, but the nation’s NT$1 trillion (US$32.01 billion) biomedical industry has an undersized NT$700 billion to NT$800 billion manufacturing sector, he said.

Separately yesterday, Lo said that the CDC had delivered the last 156,000 Novavax XBB doses in its inventory to local governments.

The number of available Moderna and Novavax XBB vaccine doses stood at 459.2 million and 315,000 respectively, he said.

COVID-19 continues to circulate, with 52 percent of cases now being the JN.1 variant, Lo said, adding that XBB vaccines are about 50 percent effective against mild symptoms in adults.

The CDC urged the public to get inoculated ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins next week.

People older than 12 can get either type of the XXB vaccine, while children under that age can only receive Moderna’s version, it said.

Information about vaccination locations can be found online at: https://gov.tw/eU4.

Additional reporting by CNA

Source: Taipei Times - 2024/02/03

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The legislature yesterday ratified the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) after a showdown that saw all the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ motions voted down by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) majority.

The vote took place after more than 10 hours of clause-by-clause deliberation, with KMT and DPP lawmakers taking the floor in turn to speak for and against the ECFA.