China’s top disease control official admitted Sunday the country’s domestic coronavirus vaccines have low effectiveness and the Communist government is considering how to give them a boost.
Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” said the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, at a conference in the southwestern city of Chengdu, AP reports.
Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses in other countries while at the same time trying to seed doubt about competing Western products.
In May 2020, China’s president, Xi Jinping, even told the World Health Assembly its coronavirus vaccines were “a global public good”, and their distribution would be part of Xi’s vision of a “shared future for the people of the world to work as one”.
Beijing’s efforts to vaccinate its own people while exporting vaccines have drawn support abroad before the full medical outcomes have become known.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria says Communist China has "essentially vanquished the virus without a vaccine" and has "come out of this pandemic in many ways stronger" and "is moving forward with much greater confidence in the world." https://t.co/9yQZxvCMs0
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 2, 2021
Now questions are being asked about China’s program and the ability of its products to do what they promise.
“It’s now under formal consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines for the immunization process,” Gao said.
The effectiveness rate of a coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac, a Chinese developer, at preventing symptomatic infections has been found to be as low as 50.4 percent by researchers in Brazil. By comparison, the vaccine made by Pfizer has been found to be 97 percent effective.
No foreign vaccines are approved for use in China, where the coronavirus emerged in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan.
Gao gave no details of possible changes in strategy but mentioned mRNA, a previously experimental technique used by Western vaccine developers while China’s drug makers used traditional technology.
A study claimed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine cuts transmission of the Chinese coronavirus by over two-thirds. https://t.co/ESEJDlzLsx
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 6, 2021
“Everyone should consider the benefits mRNA vaccines can bring for humanity,” Gao said. “We must follow it carefully and not ignore it just because we already have several types of vaccines already.”
Experts say mixing vaccines, or sequential immunization, might boost effectiveness rates.
Trials around the world are looking at mixing of vaccines or giving a booster shot after a longer time period. Researchers in Britain are studying a possible combination of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Sunday’s admission by Beijing is not the first time its has been called up on unsubstantiated claims for its coronavirus vaccines.
As Breitbart News reported, the Sinovac vaccine candidate, “CoronaVac,” was found to be just 50.38 percent effective against the Chinese coronavirus in late-stage trials as recently as last January.
The Sinovac vaccine has already been sold to at least 10 other countries and is being administered to people in at least five other countries.
In China, the shot was given emergency approval last July, allowing people such as medical workers and employees of state-owned firms to receive it.
AP contributed to this story