Molecular biologist Ahmad Rusdan Handoyo has responded to the Head of the COVID-19 Vaccine Research Team at Padjadjaran University Kusnandi Rusmil, who revealed that as many as 25 volunteers contracted the coronavirus after the second injection of the Sinovac vaccine.
“Indeed, volunteers are not prohibited from interacting. If it is prohibited, how do we know the efficacy of the vaccine?” Ahmad said.
In phase III clinical trials, the Padjadjaran University Faculty of Medicine research team gave the placebo to 18 people and seven vaccine recipients with a total of 1,603 volunteers.
“Padjadjaran University has explained it correctly, meaning that the volunteers who received the vaccine were proven to be three times less likely to experience symptoms of COVID-19 than the placebo volunteer group,” he said.
Previously, according to Kusnandi, the exposure of a number of volunteers in Bandung after the injection was normal. This is because volunteers are not prohibited from doing activities and may meet people who have been exposed to the coronavirus.
“Yes, that is the point of research; (knowing) how many people are sick so that we can know how much the efficacy of the vaccine is. We do research to see if the vaccine does not work,” Kusnadi said.
With the presence of people exposed to COVID-19, the research team then compared the vaccine recipients and the placebo in order to determine the efficacy rate.
The efficacy of clinical trials in Indonesia reached 65.3 percent, meeting the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has a limit of vaccine efficacy for a pandemic to be at least 50 percent.
“Where can you identify it? Judging from the two weeks after the last injection, we can see it can be used, “said Kusnandi.