In a major accusation, Mongolia, Bahrain, and Seychelles are facing new COVID-19 surge and new reports accuse the use of Chinese vaccines by these nations which failed to prevent the spread.
According to the New York Times (NYT), several countries suggest that the Chinese vaccines may not be efficient to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially the new variants. Mongolia, Seychelles and Bahrain are facing a surge in infections as they had relied on Chinese COVID-19 vaccines. The better availability and cheaper rates had made for a lucrative offer from the Chinese to these nations.
However, Officials from Seychelles and Mongolia have defended Sinopharm and said that the vaccine is effective in preventing spread of disease despite surge in cases.
A Hong Kong based virologist Jin Dongyan said, ”If the vaccines are sufficiently good, we should not see this pattern. The Chinese have a responsibility to remedy this.” China’s vaccines claim an efficiency rate of 78.1% and 51% for Sinopharm and Sinovac while Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have efficacy rates of over 90%.
Beijing used the vaccine diplomacy as an opportunity to emerge as an influential global power. Xi Jinping (Chinese leader), pledged to deliver a Chinese vaccines that can be stored and transported with ease to millions of people globally. According to an official statement by the Ministry, “Relevant reports and data also show that many countries that use Chinese-made vaccines have expressed that they are safe and reliable, and have played a good role in their epidemic prevention efforts.”
According to Our World in Data countries like Chile, Seychelles, Mongolia and Bahrain, about 50-68% of populations have received vaccination by the Chinese vaccines, out running the United States.
Israel reports 4.95 new COVID-19 cases per million even after it was the country which had the second highest vaccination rate in the world using Pfizer vaccines after Seychelles. Seychelles on the other hand which used Sinopharm vaccines saw that number shot above 716 cases per million.
On Sunday, Mongolia recorded 2400 new cases even after vaccinating 52 per cent of its population through the Chinese vaccine. The case count had quadrupled from a month prior.
The medical director of National Foundation for infectious diseases, William Schaffner, said, “efficacy rates of Chinese shots could be low enough to sustain some transmission, as well as create illness of a substantial amount in the highly vaccinated population, even though it keeps people largely out of the hospital”.
According to the risk mitigation team of Indonesia, 350 doctors and healthcare workers were infected with COVID-19 despite receiving Sinovac vaccine.
The NYT reported that Bahrain and UAE approved the Sinopharm shot first globally, even before clinical trial data was released. Since then many reports of vaccinated people falling ill in both countries are received.