China's CoronaVac vaccine has proven to be 'very effective,' says Chilean official

An employee of Sinovac Biotech handles boxes containing COVID-19 vaccines. (Photo: Xinhua)

The CoronaVac vaccine against COVID-19 from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac has proven to be very effective in preventing infections, hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care units and deaths, said a Chilean official on Sunday.

Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation Andres Couve made this comment here while receiving the eighth shipment of the vaccines to the country.

The official cited a study the Chilean government presented Friday, which indicated that the CoronaVac vaccine has an efficacy of 67 percent in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.

The study also showed that the vaccine is up to 85 percent effective in preventing hospitalization, 89 percent effective in preventing admission to an intensive care unit, and 80 percent effective in preventing death caused by the virus.

Chile began mass vaccinations in February after the inoculation of health personnel in December 2020 and January 2021.

According to the latest data from the Chilean Ministry of Health, more than 7.6 million people have been inoculated against the virus in Chile to date, with 5.2 million having received both doses.

A total of 1,124,718 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country, with 25,177 deaths, the health ministry said on Sunday.

Chile has been facing an increase in COVID-19 cases for several weeks. A large part of the Chilean population, including those in the entire Santiago Metropolitan Region, is now under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease, and the government has ordered the closure of the borders.