China’s Coronavirus Vaccine Barely Meets WHO Standards

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China has been hyping its CoronaVac vaccine, manufactured by Sinovac Biotech.

China has been hyping its CoronaVac vaccine, manufactured by Sinovac Biotech. It’s presented as the ultimate solution for controlling the epidemic, especially in developing nations. On Jan. 7, a study conducted by Brazil’s Butantan Institute claimed that China’s coronavirus vaccine had a 78 percent efficacy rate. However, new data submitted by the institute shows that the vaccine only has an efficacy rate of 50.4 percent. That’s only barely above the 50 percent level mandated by the World Health Organization in order to get regulatory approval.

Brazil recently placed an order for 100 million doses of CoronaVac. The latest efficacy report has raised concerns about whether these vaccines need to be purchased. In October last year, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stated that his people will not be “anyone’s guinea pig.” 

On Jan. 13, after new data on CoronaVac came out, the President said that he was correct to question the credibility of Chinese vaccines. Bolsonaro stated that he has no role in approving the vaccine; the decision will be made by the country’s health regulator, Anvisa. 

“This 50 percent is good, is it? All the [criticism] I got for my comments, and now they are seeing the truth. Four months of being lambasted because of the vaccine,” he said in a statement.

When the Butantan Institute had initially claimed a 78 percent efficacy rate for CoronaVac, it attracted huge criticism from the international scientific community for using too little data. Some also reported that China had suppressed the institute from expressing their opinions freely. The 78 percent efficacy rate came from a study that only looked at volunteers who were suffering mild to severe cases of the CCP virus. But when data from all the volunteers were included, the efficacy rate dropped to 50.4 percent.

After the low efficacy rate of CoronaVac was reported, communist China quickly began spreading propaganda to boost the vaccine’s reputation. The state-backed Global Times quoted an expert saying that CoronaVac was “good enough.” It completely avoided all negative critiques of the vaccine and only projected its benefits.

Brazil has sent a special plane to India to secure 2 million vaccines. (Image: pixabay / CC0.10)

Brazil has sent a special plane to India to secure 2 million doses of vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The institute has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. 

However, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated that supplying vaccines to other nations could “take some time.” India and Brazil are two of the three nations with the most coronavirus cases. 

“In so far as requests from countries for vaccines from India, you would recall that the Prime Minister has already stated that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting this crisis… As you know, the vaccination process is just starting in India. It is too early to give a specific response on the supplies to other countries as we are still assessing production schedules and availability to make decisions in this regard,” he told The Indian Express.

Sinovac recently published medical disclaimers and contraindications for the CoronaVac vaccine. The notice asked people who have a history of asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, and allergies to not be vaccinated. For those who get a shot, they can expect side effects like skin eczema, abdominal pain, angioedema, urticarial, and dyspnea. People suffering from mental illnesses, bleeding disorders, autoimmune diseases, and progressive neurological diseases should avoid taking CoronaVac. 

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