China; Their Covid-19 Vaccine Efficacy Is Not High

UMMATIMES - The effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine made in China is not as high as expectations. This was acknowledged by the Director of Chinese Disease Prevention and Control, Gao Fu. He said the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine made in the bamboo curtain country was still not high and local health authorities were working to increase it.

"The level of protection from the current COVID-19 vaccine is not high enough," said Gao Fu, Monday, April 12, 2021

Gao Fu continued, three options are being considered by the Chinese health authorities. The first option is to increase the number of doses that need to be given to residents. The next option, change the size or pause for the second dose injection.

The last option is to mix the COVID-19 vaccine made with different technologies. So far, said Gao Fu, studies are still being carried out to determine which step is the most appropriate.

Gao Fu's statement at the press conference in Chengdu was unexpected. So far, China has routinely claimed that their COVID-19 vaccines such as Sinovac and Sinopharm have high efficacy and are suitable for use. Never before have they acknowledged that a vaccine has not met expectations.

Although Gao Fu's statement was unexpected, it was more in the direction of acknowledgment from China. When referring to the studies that have been circulating, the low efficacy of China's COVID-19 vaccine is actually no secret. This has been mentioned several times by various countries.

For example, in an efficacy test in Brazil, Sinovac was found to have only 50.4 percent effectiveness. In Turkey, the efficacy was recorded at 83.5 percent. Meanwhile, for the two COVID-19 vaccines made by Sinopharm, both have an effectiveness of 79.4 percent and 72.5 percent.

This figure is behind when compared to the COVID-19 vaccines made in America, Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer has 97 percent effectiveness while Moderna's effectiveness is 94 percent.

The Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines have been used in more than 60 countries. One of them is Indonesia. Because so many countries use their vaccines, some have suspected that China is trying to play its influence by taking advantage of the need for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Responding to Gao Fu's statement, the Chinese Government immediately blocked discussions or related content on the internet. In addition, via Global Times, they also published a clarification from Gao who stated that his statement was misunderstood.

"The level of protection can sometimes be high or low. How to increase the efficacy clearly has to be considered by various scientists," said Gao Fu's new statement.

Researcher from the Council of Foreign Relations, Yanzhong Huang, stated that Gao Fu's clarification indicated that the Chinese government was still trying to control any information related to COVID-19. That, he said, includes cutting down statements that contradict the government's main narrative about the COVID-19 vaccine.