New medical research based on laboratory trials testing the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine, was published. According to the results, antibody production is significantly reduced in older people vaccinated with Sinopharm, which poses a serious risk since many elderly have been inoculated with this type of vaccine, and might believe they are protected against Covid, which might not be the case.
With increasing age, protection against Covid-19 may decline significantly among those vaccinated with Sinopharm, according to a newly published study by a Hungarian team of researchers led by biochemist Balázs Sarkadi, and biostatistician Tamás Ferenci.
The study is particularly important, as only limited information is available on the effectiveness of the inactivated virus contained in the Sinopharm vaccine, especially in the elderly, despite the fact that it is approved in more than 50 countries.
In addition, the authors of the paper recorded that more than one million people had received the Chinese vaccine in Hungary by the end of June, more than half of whom (54.1 percent of those who received the first dose) were elderly.
The study that examined 450 people found that gender and time since the second dose had little effect on the presence of antibodies.
Age, however, was highly relevant:
measurable antibody levels were present in about 90% of individuals below the age of 50, but antibody production after Sinopharm vaccination was strongly reduced with increasing age. A large number of elderly subjects, reaching 25% at 60 years, and up to 50% at ages over 80 were found not to produce any protective antibodies.”
“A significant danger is that if the lack of antibody production indeed translates to weaker protection against the disease, while the elderly vaccinated with Sinopharm feel and are declared to be protected against COVID-19, then this false promise may contribute to an outbreak of the disease in this highly vulnerable population,” the authors of the study concluded.
The use of the Sinopharm vaccine in the elderly has long been the subject of serious debate in Hungary. In the past months, an increasing amount of evidence surfaced that many Hungarians vaccinated with China’s Sinopharm vaccine, primarily the elderly, do not have the necessary amount of antibodies required for protection from the coronavirus.
Last week, two large-scale antibody tests from both the Municipality of Budapest and Semmelweis University became available, strengthening this suspicion. Meanwhile, the government announced a third booster dose of vaccines would be made available for Hungarians while also continuing to argue that a lack of antibodies does not equate to a lack of immunity.
Featured photo illustration by Tibor Rosta/MTI