Taipei, Taiwan (Associated Press)-As wealthy countries snap up supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, some parts of the world may have to rely on vaccines developed by China to conquer the epidemic. Question: Will they work?
There is no external reason to believe that they will not do this, but China has a history of vaccine scandals, and Chinese drugmakers rarely disclose their final human trials and they say that they have conducted more than one million emergency vaccination sites. Use vaccination. Country already.
Rich countries have set aside approximately 9 billion of the 1
For those countries that have not yet obtained the vaccine, China may be the only solution.
China has six candidates in the final stage of the trial and is one of the few countries that can produce vaccines on a large scale. Government officials announced that 1 billion doses of vaccine will be produced next year, and President Xi Jinping vowed that China’s vaccines will bring good news to the world.
There may be millions of people in other countries using its vaccine, which provides an opportunity for China to save the damage to its reputation caused by the epidemic that crosses the border, or to show the world that it can become a major scientific participant.
However, past scandals have damaged the trust of its citizens in its vaccines, and manufacturing and supply chain issues have made people doubt whether it can really be a savior.
Joy Zhang, a professor of ethics in emerging sciences at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, said: “There is a question mark on how China can ensure reliable vaccine delivery.” She cited China’s “scientific data Opacity and poor history of vaccine delivery.”
Bahrain last week became the second country to join the United Arab Emirates to approve the production of a COVID-19 vaccine in China. Morocco plans to use Chinese vaccines in the mass immunization campaign that began this month. The Chinese vaccine is also awaiting approval in Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil, while testing continues in a dozen countries/regions including Russia, Egypt and Mexico.
In some countries, people doubt Chinese vaccines. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the Chinese company Sinovac’s vaccine candidate, and did not provide any evidence, saying that Brazilians will not be used as “guinea pigs.”
Many experts praised China’s vaccine capabilities.
The head of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Sydney School of Medicine, Jamie Triccas, cites the results of clinical trials published in scientific journals, saying: “The research seems to be doing well.” “I don’t care too much about it. .”
For more than a decade, China has been establishing its own immunization program. Jin Dongyan, a professor of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said it has mass-produced successful vaccines for its own population, including measles and hepatitis vaccines.
He said: “In China, there is no major outbreak of any kind of disease.” “This means that the vaccine is safe and effective.”
In the past decade, China has cooperated with the Gates Foundation and other institutions to improve manufacturing quality. The World Health Organization has prequalified five non-COVID-19 Chinese vaccines, which allows UN agencies to purchase them in other countries.
Companies that have obtained prequalification for their products include Sinovac and the state-owned Sinopharm, both of which are leading developers of COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (with a COVID-19 candidate behind), a subsidiary of Sinopharm Holdings, was involved in a vaccine scandal in 2018.
Government inspectors found that the company was headquartered in the city where the coronavirus was first detected last year. Due to equipment failure, the company produced hundreds of thousands of ineffective doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis combined vaccines.
According to reports, in the same year, Changsheng Biotechnology Co., Ltd. falsified rabies vaccine data.
In 2016, Chinese media disclosed that 2 million doses of various childhood vaccines had been incorrectly stored and sold across the country for many years.
After those scandals, the vaccination rate dropped.
“All of my local Chinese friends, they are white-collar workers, wealthy, and no one buys Chinese-made medicines. That’s it.” said Ray Yip, the former country director of the Gates Foundation in China. He said that he was one of the few people who didn’t mind buying Chinese-made medicines.
China revised its laws in 2017 and 2019 to strengthen the management of vaccine storage and strengthen inspections and penalties for defective vaccines.
The country’s main COVID-19 vaccine developer has published some scientific findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. However, international experts questioned how China recruited volunteers and what kind of tracking it might have. Chinese companies and government officials have not disclosed details.
Now, after publishing data on the effectiveness of Western-made vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, experts are waiting for the results from China. The UAE regulatory agency that tested the Sinopharm vaccine said that based on temporary clinical trial data, the vaccine appears to be 86% effective. The Turkish government announced on Thursday that based on interim data, Sinovac’s effective rate was 91.25%.
Sinopharm did not respond to requests for comment on vaccine efficacy data. Sinovac and CanSino, another Chinese vaccine company, did not respond to interview requests.
For some people in countries where the pandemic shows no signs of remission, the country of origin of the vaccine is not important.
Daniel Alves Santos, a chef at a restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, said: “I intend to accept, if it can be resolved, the first one to appear.” “I hope God will help.”
Associated Press writers David Biller from Rio de Janeiro and María Verza from Mexico City contributed to this report.