By Daniela Desantis
ASUNCION (Reuters) - Uruguay on Tuesday released real-world data on the impact of Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine among its population that showed it was over 90% effective in preventing intensive care admissions and deaths.
The shot reduced deaths by 95% and intensive care admissions by 92%, and also showed 61% efficacy in cutting coronavirus infections, the government said.
A total of 795,684 people - health workers and members of the general population between the ages of 18 and 69 - at least 14 days after receiving their second dose of Sinovac's CoronaVac were compared to unvaccinated people to determine the real-world vaccine effectiveness, the government said in a report.
The government also studied the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine among 162,047 health workers and people over 80 years old. The shot was 94% effective at preventing intensive care unit admissions and deaths, and reduced infections by 78%, the report said.
Overall, intensive care hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 dropped by more than 90% among Uruguayans who were fully-inoculated, the data showed.
The tiny Latin nation with a population of 3.5 million managed to largely hold COVID-19 at bay with a strict lockdown last year. This year, it has seen a spike in cases that in recent weeks propelled it to the ranks of countries with the highest COVID-19 death rates per million, according to Our World in Data figures.
So far, it has vaccinated almost 52% of its population with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac, Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca, received through the COVAX vaccine alliance, while 29% had been fully vaccinated, between the end of February and June 1, according to Ministry of Health data.
Uruguay has registered 318,783 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020 and 4,692 associated deaths.
(Reporting by Daniela Desantis, Writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Bill Berkrot)