Polack says a dose of Chinese vaccine is not enough 0:36
The efficacy of Chinese covid-19 vaccines "is not high" and authorities are weighing options to strengthen protection, including mixing different injections, China's top disease control official said.
"The protection rates of existing vaccines are not high," Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a conference in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Saturday.
He listed two options to solve the problem: one is to increase the number of doses or to adjust the dose or the interval between injections;
the other is to mix vaccines developed from different technologies.
Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at the National Vaccines and Health conference in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Saturday.
Gao's comments are a rare public admission by the country's top health official that the efficacy of China's coronavirus vaccines is not ideal, and that improvements are needed to boost protection.
China has positioned itself as a leader in the development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, promoting and supplying its vaccines to countries around the world, including Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Turkey, and Brazil.
“More than 60 countries have approved the use of the Chinese vaccine.
The safety and efficacy of the Chinese vaccine is being widely recognized by various countries, ”Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference in March.
However, the relatively low efficacy rate of Chinese vaccines could hamper credibility and damage Beijing's so-called vaccine diplomacy.
The two pharmaceutical companies that supply the majority of China's COVID-19 vaccines to the world have not published comprehensive clinical trial data in medical journals on the efficacy of their vaccines.
But from the interim results announced by the companies, its effectiveness lags far behind the new type of vaccines developed in the West that use mRNA technology to trigger an immune response.
The CoronaVac vaccine, developed by Sinovac, a private company, was found to have an efficacy rate of only 50.4% in clinical trials in Brazil.
Another trial in Turkey showed it to be 83.5% effective.
State-owned Sinopharm said its two vaccines have efficacy rates of 79.4% and 72.5%.
In comparison, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have efficacy rates of 97% and 94%, respectively.
In March, the United Arab Emirates began offering a third dose of the Sinopharm vaccine to residents who were unable to generate enough antibodies after two injections.
In that sense, Gao's comments about the relatively low efficacy of Chinese vaccines merely indicated a well-known fact, but it was the first time that a high-level official in China had publicly acknowledged it.
The comments from China's CDC chief also come as the country is aggressively stepping up its vaccination campaign at home.
As of Friday, China had administered more than 160 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Its goal is to inoculate 40% of its 1.4 billion inhabitants by the end of June.
“What surprised me the most was that the suggestion of the relatively low efficacy rates of Chinese vaccines appears to be a departure from what the Chinese state and social media had said.
The official narrative describes Chinese vaccines as safe and effective, ”Yanzhong said.
Huang, a senior member of the Council on Foreign Relations, who posted Gao's speech on Twitter over the weekend.
As Gao's comments gained traction on social media and made international headlines, Chinese censors quickly removed the discussions online and state media quickly published an interview with Gao to retract his comments.
Global Times, a state nationalist tabloid, quoted Gao as saying that the reports about his admission were "a complete misunderstanding."
“The protection rates of all vaccines in the world are sometimes high and sometimes low.
How to improve its effectiveness is a question that scientists around the world must consider, ”Gao said, as quoted.
Huang, China's public health expert, said the Global Times' swift response suggests that Chinese authorities will not tolerate any challenge to their official narrative.
"Gao's comments were just an occasional aberration," he said.
Additional information from Reuters.
Additional information from Reuters.