In a rare show of weakness, Chinese health official revealed that the Chinese vaccine is not as effective against Covid-19. Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention told in a conference organized in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Saturday that, “The protection rates of existing vaccines are not high.”
The CoronaVac vaccine developed by Sinovac, a private company, was found to have a very low efficacy of 50%. This is just the minimum efficacy prescribed by WHO for getting approval in Brazil.
In comparison, the Pfizer BioNtech and Moderna vaccines have 97% and 94% efficacy respectively.
Gao in the conference told that there are two ways to solve the problem: first is to increase the number of doses, or adjust the doses or adjust the interval between the shots; second is to mix different vaccines developed from different technologies.
China had agreements with different nations to supply its vaccine. Turkey and Singapore had placed large orders, while Indonesia used the vaccine for its medical and frontline workers, apart from the elderly population. In UAE, many have been offered third dose of a Chinese vaccine.
The lower efficacy rate of the Chinese vaccine can now hamper the country’s credibility and can harm Beijing’s so-called vaccine diplomacy.
The major problem is that China has not yet approved the use of any foreign vaccine in the country. That means that the vaccinated people of the country are still at risk. It remains to be seen whether the country embraces the foreign vaccines or adopts the method of mixing vaccines.