CHINA’S VACCINE DIPLOMACY SUCCEEDING DESPITE DOUBTS ON SINO JABS
China’s vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly 500-million doses of its vaccines to more than 45 countries, a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press (AP) showed, Huizhong Wu and Kristen Gelinau reported.
“It’s a potential face-saving coup for China, which has been determined to transform itself from an object of mistrust over its initial mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak to a savior. Like India and Russia, China is trying to build goodwill, and has pledged roughly 10 times more vaccines abroad than it has distributed at home,” AP said.
“We’re seeing certainly real-time vaccine diplomacy start to play out, with China in the lead in terms of being able to manufacture vaccines within China and make them available to others,” said Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University.
“Some of them donated, some of them sold, and some of them sold with debt financing associated with it.”
Chinese vaccine companies have been “slow and spotty” in releasing their trial data, compared to companies like Pfizer and Moderna, said Yanzhong Huang, a global health expert at the U.S. think tank Council for Foreign Relations.
None of China’s three vaccine candidates used globally have publicly released their late-stage clinical trial data.
CanSino, another Chinese company with a one-shot vaccine that it says is 65% effective, declined to be interviewed.
China’s pharmaceutical business practices also have raised concerns. In 2018, it emerged that one of China’s biggest vaccine companies falsified data to sell its rabies vaccines.
That same year, news broke that a Sinopharm subsidiary, which is behind one of the COVID-19 vaccines now, had made substandard diphtheria vaccines used in mandatory immunizations.
There are concerns among receiving countries that China’s vaccine diplomacy may come at a cost, which China has denied.