Rushing to order Chinese Covid-19 vaccine
3 mins read

Rushing to order Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

According to Chinese health officials, the Sinopharm vaccine was approved for `conditional use` on the market, after reporting 79% effectiveness in clinical trials.

Analysts say the approval is an important milestone for China.

Pakistan on December 21, 2020 also announced plans to buy 1.2 million vaccine doses from China, providing for 600,000 people.

Hungary expressed interest in the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine.

A day earlier, Ukraine signed a contract to buy 1.8 million doses of vaccine from Sinovac.

Observers say that by providing vaccines to the rest of the world, China has an opportunity to strengthen its reputation and relations with its international partners.

Drew Thompson, a senior visiting researcher at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said providing vaccines is `an important benchmark for China, given its position.`

Thompson commented: `China’s ability to develop a Covid-19 vaccine is a way to affirm its prestige, not only domestically but also to the world, like major pharmaceutical companies in the US and Russia.`

Dominic Meagher, a PhD student at the Australian National University, agreed that this would be `a victory for China` and global public health if the country can successfully deploy the vaccine.

However, `it is a very complicated task` and the development process is unclear.

`Until people are actually vaccinated safely and effectively, it’s still just a promise,` said Meagher, who is studying the response to the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine.

Sinopharm’s vaccine is already being used in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, countries that have held clinical trials for the shots.

Chinese people are vaccinated against Covid-19, September 2020.

Egypt is also among the countries receiving Sinopharm’s vaccine.

One of the advantages of the Sinopharm vaccine is that it can be stored and transported at normal refrigerator temperatures.

Davies, a professor at Griffith University in Australia, said: `This is a big problem, but we need more information. It is important if China wants to assert its pioneering position in providing global vaccines and

However, officials in this country have revealed very little about the analysis related to the vaccine, they only said the trial included 60,000 people in several countries.

An executive from Sinopharm’s subsidiary, China National Biotec Group, which is responsible for developing the vaccine, said detailed information would be published and released in scientific journals.

Currently, China’s Covid-19 vaccine has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), a gold standard for domestic regulators and the United Nations to order.

On December 31, WHO approved the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.

According to Davies, that could be the next barrier with the Sinopharm vaccine.

She said: `Countries need some conditions to order vaccines. To do that, there must be transparency and an international ‘seal’ of approval.`

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