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China’s Vaccine Push in Developing Countries Suffers Setback After Brazillian Tests Reveal Sinovac’s Shot Only 50% Effective

A package of the experimental vaccine test for the COVID-19 coronavirus is pictured at the Quality Control Laboratory at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing. NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP

China’s ambitious global drive to provide developing countries with affordable COVID-19 vaccines suffered a major setback on Tuesday following new test results from Brazil that revealed Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine to be only 50% effective.

The findings from the Butantan Institute, a São Paulo-based public institute that is the first to complete late-stage trials of the CoronaVac vaccine, came as a big surprise because just last week the institute said Sinovac’s shot was 78% effective and offered total protection against severe cases of the disease.

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