CanSinoBIO says COVID-19 shot may be less effective over time, booster shot promising

FILE PHOTO: A logo of China's vaccine specialist CanSino Biologics Inc is pictured on the company's headquarters in Tianjin, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), China August 17, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s CanSino Biologics Inc said the efficacy rate for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine may fall over time although it should still have a rate of 50% or more five to six months after inoculation.

A second shot given to trial participants six months after their first injection could offer substantial protection, Zhu Tao, CanSinoBIO’s chief scientific officer, said in an online presentation late on Wednesday.

“A booster shot six months later led to a seven times to 10-times increase in neutralising antibody levels, so we expect in this case efficacy could reach over 90%,” Zhu said, though he cautioned more clinical trial data was needed for more precise estimates.

The company in February reported interim data that showed the shot was 68.83% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease two weeks after vaccination but the rate fell to 65.28% after four weeks.

The February data reflected a shorter time span after the inoculation, Zhu said.

The vaccine has been approved in China, Pakistan, Hungary and Mexico.

CanSinoBIO is also planning a clinical trial in China for an inhaled version of the vaccine.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Edwina Gibbs