Worries Grow Over China’s Sinopharm Covid Shot
June 19, 2022 08:59PM
Worries Grow Over China’s Sinopharm Covid Shot

TOPLINE Concerns over the effectiveness of Sinopharm’s vaccine continue to grow after Bahrain, battling a devastating coronavirus surge despite being one of the world’s most vaccinated nations, announced its decision to offer booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those already fully immunized with the Chinese-made vaccine Thursday, the latest in a string of setbacks for the state-owned vaccine recently authorized by WHO.To get more news about sinopharm update, you can visit shine news official website.
Vulnerable individuals—including those who are obese, over 50 or have long-term illnesses—are being urged get a Pfizer booster shot six months after receiving their last Sinopharm inoculation, reported the Wall Street Journal.

While a government spokesperson told Forbes the vaccine offers a similarly high level of protection as other vaccines, the policy change comes after the country already started offering Sinopharm boosters while battling a Covid surge five times as deadly as India’s despite having around 50% of its population fully vaccinated.Several other highly vaccinated countries that deployed the Sinopharm shot heavily are also experiencing severe outbreaks, with the UAE and the Seychelles both considering or implementing booster programs of their own.

Global concerns surrounding the efficacy of Chinese-made vaccines—notably Sinopharm and Sinovac, which have both been granted emergency authorization by the WHO—have festered due to a lack of public clinical data needed to verify manufacturers’ claims, deficiencies in the data that is made available and the widespread politicization of vaccines.

The peer-reviewed study from Sinopharm’s Phase 3 trial, published at the end of May, found the vaccine to 79% effective at preventing symptomatic disease, but noted the predominantly young, healthy and male trial participants meant it had “insufficient power to test the efficacy among those with chronic diseases, women, (and) older adults,” a concern the WHO echoed for older people.

George Gao, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged the poor efficacy of China’s vaccines at a conference in April, in what seemed to be an unintentional dissent from the party line. Gao said China was “formally considering” changes to its vaccines to “solve the problem that the efficacy of the existing vaccines is not high.” China responded swiftly, flushing discussion from social media and rebutting the incorrect interpretation of Gao’s statement. On state media, Gao later described it as a “misunderstanding.”

State-owned Sinopharm rarely addresses public concerns over efficacy. Chinese officials contend the line of questioning to be an example of anti-China bias and selective reporting ignoring deficiencies in other vaccines. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said a Wall Street Journal article on the Seychelles “exposes their unhealthy mind-set of denigrating China at every turn.”

China staunchly defends the quality and efficacy of its vaccines, which it rolled out long before completing late stage clinical trials, as an effective and needed tool to fight the pandemic, which it has used as a key foreign policy tool during the pandemic. Sinovac and Sinopharm’s vaccines are both in excess of the 50% efficacy threshold outlined by the WHO and FDA which, even at a lower limit, can have a major impact on saving lives in a world where the demand for vaccines continues to vastly outstrip demand. The use of another shot to boost immunity and fight new variants is also likely to be required of many Western vaccines—and major manufacturers are working on them—though it does not appear to be needed as soon as six months.

The UAE, which has been administering Sinopharm booster shots since March, has reportedly undertaken a clandestine effort to revaccinate fully vaccinated people with Pfizer’s shot. The Wall Street Journal cites “dozens of recipients” as telling them they have been vaccinated again, some of whom reported developing no antibodies after their Sinopharm immunization.
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