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Countries depending on China’s COVID vaccines ‘may experience increased infection rates’

Countries depending on China’s COVID vaccines ‘may experience increased infection rates’
April 12
23:57 2021

Scientists say countries that rely on COVID-19 vaccines from China run the risk of experiencing renewed waves of infections.

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The China-made vaccines are said to be cheaper and easy to store, making it a choice option for countries that do not have the equipment to store other brands which require ultra-low temperatures.

According to MailOnline, experts have warned that the vaccines may not be very effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

At least 53 countries are said to have ordered doses of the vaccines from China.

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Chile, one of the countries currently administering doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China, has reportedly experienced a recent increase in its infection rate.

Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, told MailOnline that the figures from Chile suggest that the China vaccine may not be enough to stop the virus from circulating.

Jones said he thinks the low efficacy could be linked to the technology used in producing the vaccine

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“I assume it’s the whole inactivated virus vaccine. They are quick to make but they contain virus proteins which are irrelevant as far as protection goes so; in effect, a good proportion of what you receive is wasted,” he was quoted to have said.

Gabriel Scally, a public health expert at the University of Bristol, said the crisis in Chile does not speak well of China’s vaccines.

“They haven’t been approved by any of the major medical regulators and there is very limited research evidence. They certainly don’t appear to have a high level of effectiveness in the real world. And in the absence of data, it’s very difficult to know [how effective they really are]. The only benefit of them is the fact they’re cheap,” he said.

On Saturday, Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, had admitted that the efficacy of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines was not high.

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“The protection rates of existing vaccines are not high,” he said.

The two pharmaceutical companies that produce most of the country’s COVID-19 vaccines, have also reportedly failed to publish comprehensive data on the efficacy of their doses.

But from provisional results, according to CNN, their efficacy falls below that of other vaccines produced in the west.

CoronaVac and Sinovac, both Chinese vaccines, were said to have efficacy rates of 50.4 percent and 79.4 percent, respectively, compared to Pfizer’s with 97 percent, and Moderna’s with 94 percent.

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Meanwhile, Nigeria had earlier expressed its readiness to procure COVID-19 vaccine from China when the doses are available to be shipped in large quantities.

In February, Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, had disclosed that the federal government was in talks with China, saying “we are also looking to import, to acquire significant vaccines from China and other partners too”.

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