Sinopharm says new protein booster works better against Omicron
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Sinopharm says new protein booster works better against Omicron

Sinopharm says new protein booster works better against Omicron

The vaccine, which contains parts of the virus’ spike protein, is found to be seven times more potent in stimulating protective antibodies against omicron

China’s state-owned vaccine maker Sinopharm said its new protein subunit Covid-19 inoculation offers better protection as a booster against the omicron variant than its widely deployed inactivated shot.

The vaccine, which contains parts of the virus’ spike protein, is found to be seven times more potent in stimulating protective antibodies against omicron compared to its older shot if deployed six months after two doses of the inactivated inoculation, according to a yet to be peer-reviewed study involving 1,800 participants in the UAE, where it is already approved.

The findings may offer some relief for China, which has managed to insulate the vast majority of its people from Covid-19 with closed borders and zealous containment measures, but faces the challenge of fighting omicron with weak homegrown shots. Local vaccine makers are now scrambling to shore up their inoculations, including developing a Chinese messenger RNA shot.

Still the extent of uptake depends on Sinopharm’s ability to scale up production quickly in a country home to 1.4 billion people, where 86 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.

China’s inactivated set of domestic vaccines have been proven to provide limited protection against omicron and Beijing is reluctant to approve more effective Western mRNA inoculations.

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