The SAGE’s of the WHO said what?
A large phase 3 trial in Brazil showed that two doses, administered at an interval of 14 days, had an efficacy of 51% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, 100% against severe COVID-19, and 100% against hospitalization starting 14 days after receiving the second dose.
That is what the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) wrote, dated 2nd of September 2021 (Updated 5th of January 2022). See link above or here.
So who are those SAGE’s of the WHO in the first place? Founded in 1999
SAGE is the principal advisory group to WHO for vaccines and immunization. It is charged with advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from vaccines and technology, research and development, to delivery of immunization and its linkages with other health interventions. SAGE is concerned not just with childhood vaccines and immunization, but all vaccine-preventable diseases.
Interestingly enough, the dates on this topic at the WHO website are all over the place. For instance on the page where you can download the interim guidance paper, which states that it was first issued on the 24th of May 2021 it says, that this download was made available for the first time on 21st of October 2021.
The PDF states, as I mentioned that it was “first published” on the 24th of May 2021. Where and to whom I have not been able to determine so far. In the first paragraph of the document it states that it dates back to the extraordinary meeting held on the 29th of April 2021.
The timeline of the updates is similarly confusing. The news-room feature story was updated on January 5th 2022. With no changes in efficacy against severe disease and hospitalization. The interim guidance PDF was updated 21st of October, after a meeting on 5th of October 2021.
Interestingly enough, the Link in the interim guidance PDF to the website of the SAGE working group no longer works. It is now to be found here.
So. The earliest, that a group of experts told the WHO and its members, that there was a vaccine that was based on a known and well established technology exists and that it had the potential, according to them, to save the recipients of said vaccine to 100% from severe disease and hospitalization (and I am assuming here, to 100% from death) is the 24th of May 2021.
So what happened? Said vaccine had been entered into the process to be granted limited marketing authorization by the EMA on the 4th of May 2021. Since then nothing more has happened. It is still waiting for approval. As late as the 5th of January of 2022, the recommendation of the Strategic Advisory group of Experts on Immunization of the WHO for CoronaVac made by Sinovac is still:
Where can you get this wonderous vaccine? It is not available to anyone in the EU or in the US. In South Africa it is approved, but the government is not going to buy any doses in the foreseeable future.
The last question of course is this: Can we believe the experts and their analysis of the data? Or are they spreading harmful misinformation or even disinformation?
Here is the link to the Annexes to the recommendations for use of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine against COVID-19 where you can find the links to the studies used in the interim guidance issued 24th of May 2021 by SAGE.