Chinese Sinovac gets WHO approval, at last

by | Jun 7, 2021 | COVID 19, International | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi

The World Health Organisation has finally put its stamp of approval for emergency use on the twin highly successful Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, Sinovac’s CoronaVac and Sinopharm.

It’s amazing how the United Nations body took this long to approve such highly effective vaccines which have stood their ground in a cutthroat pharmaceutical industry where such experimental products as British Astra-Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson, despite failing several times during trials, were approved in their formative stages.

“The world needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequality across the globe,” said Mariangela Simao, assistant director-general for access to health products at the WHO.
But isn’t clear that this is not a sincere statement, coming from someone who has overseen licencing and approval of experimental vaccines from European and American manufacturers, most of which went on to fail several times, at the expense of this world acclaimed Chinese product?

Sinovac becomes the second Chinese made Covid-19 vaccine to be approved after Sinopharm got the nod on May 7, 2021.
The vaccine has been recommended for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule of two to four weeks apart.

Chairman of Sinovac Biotech, Yin Weidong told this publication that switching from one dose per vial to two will have a significant impact on production capacity.

“We will be able to increase supply to at least 2 billion doses per year,” he explained.
“This will hopefully mean wider use in China and that more countries and international organisations will have access to the vaccine.”

To date, Sinovac had supplied more than 600 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine worldwide by end of May, with more than 430 million already administered.

But of concern is the time taken for the World Health Organisation to approve these two proven and highly efficacious Chinese vaccines when the world is yearning for a sustainable supply of life-saving vaccines.

The USA controlled World Health Organisation took its time to conclude that these vaccines were what the world needed in the fight against this novel virus which has wreaked havoc across the world.
It is such hypocrisy and rent-seeking behaviour by the world body that leaves a lot to be desired.
It raises a lot more questions than answers on the impartiality and objectivity of the UN regulatory body.

The world body kept astounding observers and critics alike when it ignored overwhelming evidence that indeed the two Chinese vaccines were working excellently worldwide and could be exactly what the world needed then and now.

To add to the never-ending surprises, the UN body is yet to approve the Russian Sputnik V, in spite of available evidence that it is the safest and most efficacious vaccine to date on the market.
This adds fuel to accusations that the UN body is engaging in Vaccine politics on behalf of European and American establishments.

Of course, this has all fingerprints of an all-out economic war that has been simmering between the biggest benefactor to the UN, the USA and the other two emerging superpowers, Russia and China.
But in the middle of the melee, it is the world’s poorest populations that suffer the most when superpowers fight.

It is however gratifying to note that Zimbabwe has not been too naive as to watch the drama from the side-lines as the country made a good move from the start by embracing these two Chinese vaccines despite the resistance by the usual Western suspects, who tried every trick to force the country onto the omnibus Covax facility, which did not include any Chinese vaccines because they were yet to be approved.

Some countries in the region including SADC’s most industrialised nation, South Africa were lured into abandoning Chinese vaccines by a US$4 billion IMF carrot that was dangled for purchase of vaccines from predetermined suppliers in Europe and the US.
The results have been disastrous as evidence show that South African lags dismally behind Zimbabwe in per capita vaccination.
Today many South Africans have realised this grave mistake by their government and are contributing to vaccine tourism into Zimbabwe.

Sinovac made history in January this year when it supplied 4 million of the much needed life-saving drug to Chile, propelling the poor South American country to number four in the world in terms of per capita vaccination.
By then Chile had only received a paltry 150,000 doses out of the 10 million does strong order to Pfizer.

The two Chinese vaccines will now become a dominant part of the seven vaccines in the Covax basket. But given the famed Chinese manufacturing prowess, nothing can stop these two vaccines from world domination.