COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
from McMaster PLUSTM

Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

Primary Prevention Dai L, Gao L, Tao L, et al. Efficacy and Safety of the RBD-Dimer-Based Covid-19 Vaccine ZF2001 in Adults. N Engl J Med. 2022 May 4. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2202261.
PICO Terms
adult (P) adverse reactions; safety (O) alpha; B.1.1.7; variant of concern; VOC (P) COVID-related death (O) delta; B.1.617.2; variant of concern; VOC (P) fully vaccinated (I/C) placebo (I/C) reactogenicity (O) severe, critical, or fatal disease (O) symptomatic infection (O) vaccine efficacy (O) ZF2001; Anhui Zhifei Longcom; protein subunit (I/C)
Demographic Information
Geriatric Population
60 years to <70 years
Female Male
African Afro-Caribbean Asian Black Chinese East Asian Indonesian Multiracial Pakistani South Asian Southeast Asian White

BACKGROUND: The ZF2001 vaccine, which contains a dimeric form of the receptor-binding domain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and aluminum hydroxide as an adjuvant, was shown to be safe, with an acceptable side-effect profile, and immunogenic in adults in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to investigate the efficacy and confirm the safety of ZF2001. The trial was performed at 31 clinical centers across Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Ecuador; an additional center in China was included in the safety analysis only. Adult participants (=18 years of age) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive a total of three 25-µg doses (30 days apart) of ZF2001 or placebo. The primary end point was the occurrence of symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), as confirmed on polymerase-chain-reaction assay, at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose. A key secondary efficacy end point was the occurrence of severe-to-critical Covid-19 (including Covid-19-related death) at least 7 days after receipt of the third dose.

RESULTS: Between December 12, 2020, and December 15, 2021, a total of 28,873 participants received at least one dose of ZF2001 or placebo and were included in the safety analysis; 25,193 participants who had completed the three-dose regimen, for whom there were approximately 6 months of follow-up data, were included in the updated primary efficacy analysis that was conducted at the second data cutoff date of December 15, 2021. In the updated analysis, primary end-point cases were reported in 158 of 12,625 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 580 of 12,568 participants in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 75.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 71.0 to 79.8). Severe-to-critical Covid-19 occurred in 6 participants in the ZF2001 group and in 43 in the placebo group, for a vaccine efficacy of 87.6% (95% CI, 70.6 to 95.7); Covid-19-related death occurred in 2 and 12 participants, respectively, for a vaccine efficacy of 86.5% (95% CI, 38.9 to 98.5). The incidence of adverse events and serious adverse events was balanced in the two groups, and there were no vaccine-related deaths. Most adverse reactions (98.5%) were of grade 1 or 2.

CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of adults, the ZF2001 vaccine was shown to be safe and effective against symptomatic and severe-to-critical Covid-19 for at least 6 months after full vaccination. (Funded by the National Science and Technology Major Project and others; number, NCT04646590.).

Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Internal Medicine
Infectious Disease
Public Health
Comments from MORE raters

Internal Medicine rater

This is a new and promising alternative for Covid-19 vaccination. As with the other vaccines, it is necessary to determine its long-term efficacy and safety.