Turkey and Covid-19 vaccines



Coronavirus: Pfizer booster may better protect than third CoronaVac shot, finds Turkish study

Researchers at Manisa Celal Bayar University studied several hundred health workers vaccinated with CoronaVac, with boosters beginning in July

China began rolling out Covid-19 boosters in several provinces this month and overseas countries are supplementing the CoronaVac regimen with other vaccines

Simone McCarthy

Published: 10:00am, 2 Oct, 202

For people fully immunised with Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine, adding a Pfizer/BioNTech booster shot may yield greater protection than a third Sinovac dose, new research from Turkey suggests.

Health care workers who received a booster shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech dose were found to have higher antibody levels – thought to be a marker of vaccine efficacy – than those who received a third dose of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine, when measured 28 to 45 days after the shot, medical researchers at Manisa Celal Bayar University found.

A smaller percentage of health care workers who received the Pfizer/BioNTech booster were infected with Covid-19 than those who received a CoronaVac boost, according to the preliminary results of a small-scale study of vaccinated hospital workers.


Daily Sabah

Turkish university reveals findings of 3-dose efficacy of Sinovac


MANISA, Turkey Turkey Sep 29, 2021 2:19 pm GMT+3

Turkey’s Manisa Celal Bayar University (MCBÜ) announced Wednesday findings from a study conducted on 1,053 healthcare professionals working at the university’s Hafsa Sultan Hospital. The results revealed that those who received three doses of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine achieved the level of protective antibodies.

According to the written statement from the university, MCBÜ’s Scientific Research Projects Unit investigated the 6th-month follow-up results of the two-dose Sinovac SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine – also known as CoronaVac – administered in Turkey and the efficacy results after a 3rd dose.

It stated that 1,053 health workers volunteered to participate in the study and the frequency of getting sick and the antibody levels created by the vaccine were investigated in the study group after the vaccination.

“In those with only two doses of CoronaVac, the levels of antibody protection decreased to 56% after the third month following the second vaccine. This data has proven that applying a 3rd dose of the vaccine is a sound decision,” the statement read.

The study also showed a difference in efficacy between continuing with a third dose of CoronaVac or switching to BioNTech for the final dose, although both provided protection.

“Regardless of the preference of the third-dose vaccine, all individuals receiving three doses of vaccine achieved protective antibody levels. The BioNTech vaccine applied as the third dose of vaccination showed significant superiority in protection (both in terms of antibody levels and disease status) compared to the third dose of CoronaVac vaccine.”



3 doses of Sinovac is better than mixing with Pfizer: Turkish minister

Study shows Chinese vaccine offers highest protection overall when taken consecutively

SINAN TAVSAN, Nikkei staff writerAugust 12, 2021 04:48 JST

ISTANBUL — A Turkish study of more than 30 million vaccinated citizens indicated that the highest level of protection was seen in people who received three doses of inactive vaccines, rather than in those who received two doses of inactive vaccines and one booster shot of an mRNA vaccine, the country’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Wednesday.

While the minister avoided specifying brand names, he was referring to the vaccines now available in Turkey: the Chinese inactive vaccine CoronaVac by Sinovac Biotech and the mRNA offering developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

While many Turks have preferred receiving a Pfizer booster shot, believing it is more effective than the Chinese vaccine, the research shows that using the same vaccine type works better. Health authorities in Turkey and other countries had been recommending that people inoculated with two doses of inactive vaccines receive an mRNA jab as a third dose to boost protection.

“Having three doses in designated groups is very important,” Koca said. “People around the world will learn this data for the first time, and countries’ vaccination policies will perhaps change.”

He added that the researchers who carried out the study on Wednesday applied to a scientific journal to publish the full results.



Received via WhatsApp:

Why not three doses of Sinovac for Seniors?

By Dr Gan Siowck Lee

News that the Ministry of Health will be giving booster jabs to all frontliners and seniors is welcome by most quarters.

Unfortunately, the recent announcement by the Minister of Health that Pfizer booster jabs will be given to seniors who already received two doses of Sinovac has created a lot of anxiety and uneasiness. This is especially so for those who are well read. They have strong apprehension about the safety of such heterologous booster shots. To add to their alarm is the press statement by the minister that this heterologous administration will be part of the government study, done in an off-label manner, meaning this booster jab is used in a way other than officially approved for. So, can we blame the seniors for the perception that they are being used as *guinea pigs?!
Even though it was barely a few days ago that MySejahtera has started notifying these seniors about their booster jab appointments, the ministry should have got the drift by now. Many seniors either did not confirm their appointments, or they confirmed but did not show up for the vaccination.

MySejahtera only asks recipients of booster jab offers to click a button to confirm, no other options are available. (Sounds like hard selling snake oil, take it or leave it, as one senior quipped!) Those who found the date and time of jab appointment unsuitable tried calling helpline, but like before, to no avail. Some just clicked to confirm, out of anxiety, and then decided not to show up. One senior complained that he was given two doses of Sinovac because of health issue, but now they want to give him Pfizer as booster!
Many people are of the opinion that the decision to mix two Sinovac jabs with
Pfizer as booster shot is not substantiated by findings of any study or analysis of data collected by the Ministry of Health thus far. It is callous to say the least, subjecting the vulnerable seniors to unknown and unnecessary risks. This is especially so in the midst of many experts, including a WHO scientist, warning and cautioning the use of heterologous vaccinations by individuals. (https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/who-warns-against-mixing-matching-covid-vaccines-2021-07-12/….. ).

The Chinese government is also very prudent and responsible, stating that there will be no mixed booster shots until scientists are sure. (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3153424/no-mixed-covid-19-booster-shots-china-until-scientists-are-sure)

Therefore, our burning question is: Why not give a third Sinovac to these seniors as booster? After all, a study in Turkey involving 30 million vaccinated citizens has indicated that the highest level of protection was seen in people who received three doses of inactive vaccines (Sinovac), rather than in those who received two doses of inactive vaccines and one booster shot of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer). (https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/COVID-vaccines/3-doses-of-Sinovac-is-better-than-mixing-with-Pfizer-Turkish-minister)

Our neighbor Singapore down south is doing just that now, giving three doses of Sinovac to those who do not want mRNA vaccine as booster.

Can we do the same here?


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