What sets China’s CoronaVac apart from other vaccines?

Published March 1, 2021, 11:26 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, who chairs the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES) said the platform used by Sinovac Biotech in producing its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is inactivated virus, which is the “most tried and tested” technology. 


“The Sinovac vaccine uses a classical platform for vaccine production – inactivated virus. The same platform is used in polio vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, rabies vaccines and most influenza vaccines,” she told the Manila Bulletin. 

She noted that at present,  there are four vaccine platforms and the inactivated virus is the “world standard.”

“Among the COVID-19 vaccine platforms, the inactivated virus is the most tried and tested,” she stressed. 

Guevara cited that based on Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey clinical trials, the overall vaccine efficacy ranges from 65 percent  to 91 percent.

She noted that the newest platform is the Messenger RNA or mRNA, which is used by Pfizer and Moderna.

In a radio interview on Sunday, March 1, Dr. Nina Gloriani, who heads the DOST’s vaccine expert panel, asked the public not to dilly dally and have themselves vaccinated or else be overtaken by COVID-19 variants.

She said the public should take seriously the threats posed by the new COVID-19 variants. 

Gloriani said they anticipated that second generation vaccines will be produced by vaccine developers following the emergence of the new COVID-19 variants. 

She explained that the available vaccines developed by different pharmaceutical firms  were considered as  the first generation vaccines. 

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 62  cases of the United Kingdom (UK) variant of COVID-19 in six regions.