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Why Chinese vaccines are attracting international withdrawal

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Editor’s note: Tom Fowdy is a political and international relations analyst in the UK and is a graduate of the Universities of Durham and Oxford. He writes on topics related to China, the DPRK, Britain and the United States. The article reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily those of CGTN.There has been a lot of news about the advancement of the COVID-19 vaccine from two major US pharmaceutical companies, Pzifer and Moderna. It is not surprising that the mainstream media behaves as if these were the only two vaccine options available in the world and gave them preferential coverage. However, compared to the progress made by these companies, a number of Chinese companies are also making progress with clinical trials of the third phase of a coronavirus vaccine.

These include SinoVac, CanSino and SinoPharm. Although they have not made their results public to market their products in the same way as the two US companies, however it has been reported that trials of these vaccines have yielded positive results, with no side effects. and, due to different methodologies, do not need to be set up. at extreme temperatures to facilitate dispersion.

Despite media bias, these vaccines are the goods that most countries in the world will receive, especially outside the western world, where established companies are a monopoly. Already, many countries have ordered large quantities of Chinese vaccines to diversify their Western dependency options and overcome climate barriers, and for their competitiveness.

Some are also donated through a subsidized program, COVAX through the WHO. Countries that have so far ordered vaccines made in China include Indonesia, Brazil’s Sao Paulo province (despite the central government split), Mexico, Malaysia (donation), Turkey and the Philippines. The reach of countries to receive donations from Beijing is also likely to increase as China intensifies multilateral cooperation to combat COVID-19.

Overcome prejudicesIt is unfortunate that some Western voices do not take China’s progress in COVID-19 very seriously. It stems from a mixture of cultural and political prejudices. First, some Westerners are prejudiced by thinking that Chinese products are inferior or of inferior quality, especially in sensitive areas such as medicine where many mistakenly associated the COVID-19 epidemic with “cultural inferiority” or a “guilt game.” It also plays on the notion of political and ideological distrust; the idea that the Chinese product is “inferior” again due to poor regulation and alleged dishonesty by the authorities.

In practice, however, Chinese vaccines have been given the green light by independent third-party regulators in all countries that have tested and adopted them. No country purchased the product without first giving regulatory approval. It makes good sense. As Brazilian President Jair Bolosanaro has tried to use the previously mentioned synophobic points of the talks to overturn SinoVac trials in his country, third-party regulators have given the green light to resume as allegations against him were unfounded and politicized. .

Why the Chinese vaccine is important

So despite those who try to discredit it, Chinese vaccines are a popular choice because they are affordable and can be distributed more widely and more effectively. For countries with fewer resources and more difficult conditions, this is very important. Take, for example, Indonesia. The island state has ordered more than 430 million doses from three major Chinese companies.

Consider the circumstances after the election of Indonesia. First, the country has limited resources and development. Second, it has a population of over 267 million people. Third, there is a tropical climate with heat and humidity all year round. On that note, how can Indonesia not only afford, but then deliver an expensive American product that needs to be kept below -70? China is the only realistic option.

And on this note, many countries facing similar financial, demographic, and climate barriers are likely to see Chinese vaccines as the obvious choice. This does not mean that it will be the only place they will do business with, as many countries have more than one partner.

However, Chinese vaccines have a competitive advantage in terms of price and production capacity, allowing developing countries to escape the pandemic as soon as possible. Unlike American companies, it is not just a business issue; China has also pledged to donate billions of vaccines. Malaysia has registered to become the first beneficiary of this program under the WHO COVAX program and of course there will be more.

With that in mind, ignore synophobic speech points, Chinese vaccines are gaining international traction, and more countries are lining up to buy them. While the achievements of Moderna and Pzifer are widely praised, these companies are ultimately just completing part of the puzzle to end the COVID-19 crisis. Not everyone has the privilege or infrastructure to buy them. Thus, the achievements of SinoVac, CanSino and SinoPharm must play a crucial role in creating a change for billions of people worldwide.

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