A staff member will be on a media tour of a new factory built to produce the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Sinovac, one of 11 Chinese companies approved to conduct clinical trials of potential coronavirus vaccines in Beijing on September 24, 2020. Credit – Wang Zhao-AFP / Getty Images
Li Shurui did not hesitate. Ending or endangering his life indefinitely Catching COVID-19 On his return to university in the UK, the 22-year-old business student decided to wrap his sleeve around himself Experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Two injections made by Sinovak (known as Beijing Kicking Bioproducts) at a private Taihei hospital in the Chinese capital cost 2,000 rmb ($ 300). The treatment has not yet passed the final (Stage 3) clinical trials, but is already being offered to the public, on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone can turn around, pay their money and get a job. Li said there were hundreds of people queuing up with him to get immunized.
“I’m a little worried about the side effects but more concerned about catching the virus abroad,” Li tells Time. “But I haven’t had any problems from Jobs so far.”
This is not the only coronavac vaccine being offered in China. The unofficial vaccine roll-out is accelerating despite warnings from international public health experts. Hundreds of Chinese have already taken their experimental COVID-19 vaccines as part of a state initiative to protect frontline health workers and officials traveling to high-risk countries, state-owned Synoform said in September. This week at Yiwu’s Eastern Manufacturing Center, hundreds of people Standing in queue Dose of coronavac for 60 doses.
“It’s insane,” said Adam Comradt-Scott, an associate professor specializing in global health care at the University of Sydney, about China’s gung-ho vaccine rollout. “It’s just a public health practice. We have previous examples where vaccines that do not go through enough clinical trials have shown adverse reactions with long-term health consequences.”
When the coronavirus epidemic reaches its 11th month 40 million cases and 1.1 million deaths worldwide, Looking for a miracle cure becomes a more desperate deficit. But the consequences of misdiagnosis can also be devastating. In 1976, a campaign Immunize millions of Americans against swine flu Subsequently chronic fatigue syndrome led to a small proportion of developing and advanced anti-waxing movement. Giving a pre-approved vaccine without adequately monitoring the efficacy and health of participants can provoke misinformation in the public.
What’s more, because COVID-19 cases are so rare in China, Stage 3 trials — when given to thousands of people to see how many people have been vaccinated — can only be performed abroad — compared to the volunteers who receive placebo. There are also no “challenging” tests that will intentionally expose volunteers who have been vaccinated by scientists to test their immunity to the virus. (Although controversial, such tests Going to go Forward in the UK)
But it’s not just China. Named after US President Donald Trump Enormous public pressure on regulators And ce drug companies to make a vaccine available for the American election. On October 16, Pfizer revealed It may begin releasing its vaccine for emergency use in the US by the end of November. Moderna has a similar timeline For emergency use, however, vaccine distribution may not be widely available until spring.
The difference in China is that the virus is mostly domestic. Only 14 cases were reported in the country on Wednesday, all of which were imported. “There seems to be no need to take the vaccine in China,” said student Li. “After all, the epidemic is now having little impact on life in China; Masks are also not mandatory here. ”
So why is China aggressively vaccinating? For the Beijing government, the fight against the epidemic has become a sinking PR war International Criticism About the silence of its initial mishandling, cover-up and whistleblower. Instead, China wants to rebrand itself as an important source of PPE and eventually find a solution to the crisis. China’s National Health Authority estimates that China’s COVID-19 vaccine production capacity will reach 610 million doses annually by the end of 2020. Boss of Synoform Said His company alone could produce over 1 billion doses next year.
Sinovak has promised to supply 40 million doses of coronavac to Indonesia by March 2021. Sao Paulo Governor Jono Doria says the Brazilian federal government has agreed to purchase 46 million doses of coronavac, one of the five vaccines tested in the country in three stages that have the third highest infection in the world.
“The first results of a clinical study conducted in Brazil proved that of all the vaccines tested in the country, Coronavac has the safest, best and most promising rates,” Doria told reporters Monday.
Of course, China is not alone in seeking PR benefits. On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, which he said had already been given to his daughter. There is no doubt that the trade name Sputnik 5 after the Soviet satellite was surrounded by national pride in its development. But it was only tested on 76 people — 38 in Phase I and 38 in Phase II trials and did not even enter the phrase trials 38- and 3. The vaccine did not raise COVID-19 to a record high in the country this month.
“This is China’s attempt to gain international prestige by launching an extensive vaccination program,” said Comrad-Scott, a global health expert in Australia. “Unfortunately, I see politics here more than public health.”
Correction, October 22:
The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Beijing is a specialized company for kicking bioproducts and Sinovac. All are the same.