DNA Exclusive: Chinese claim on COVID-19 vaccines fails to create Indian interest

The Chinese vaccines will be available for use by end of this year as the trials of two companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, are in the final stages. 

DNA Exclusive: Chinese claim on COVID-19 vaccines fails to create Indian interest
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New Delhi: With global coronavirus cases exceeding 30 million on Thursday (September 17) and the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing, China has claimed that it would be ready with two vaccines by November this year. The Chinese vaccines will be available for use by end of this year as the trials of two companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, are in the final stages. 

Although India has become the latest epicenter of the deadly virus, the Made in China vaccine has failed to create an interest in India. China that gave coronavirus to the world is now claiming to give the vaccine to the world, but the global perception about Chinese products is showing a trust deficit.

We are prone to buying Chinese goods as they come cheap but when this is related to the life-saving vaccine, people are likely to think twice as the life of people would be at stake. India, therefore, did not show any interest in buying the Chinese vaccine. 

The DNA report dug deep to ascertain the truth about the companies involved in making these vaccines and was surprised to know these firms are trusted by even Chinese people. The credibility of these two companies therefore is under question.

Of the two vaccines, one is being made by the Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm Group. The trials by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, related to Sinopharm, has already entered into the second phase. In the year 2018, this company was accused of supplying substandard vaccines of Diphtheria, Tetanus, and cough to millions of children. It was sued in the Chinese courts twice and was directed to pay damages of 71,500 dollars to victims.

Another Chinese company Sinovac is also busy making a vaccine for the Wuhan virus. Sinovac is also accused of greasing the palm of the concerned department with US$ 50,000 for getting approval of a drug. The company allegedly acquired drug licenses between 2002 and 2014 by paying bribes.

Although the vaccine for which the trial is yet to complete, China has started claiming to sell it to many countries. The world cannot forget that when coronavirus started, China sold PPE and testing kits to many countries at high prices, but they all were of inferior quality. 

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations, and even Bill Gates have stated that the coronavirus vaccine would be ready by the next year. This simply conveys that no one has so far taken cognizance of the Chinese claim.

There are about 150 global companies that are in the race of making COVID-19 vaccines, but China has already started selling the vaccine. China has claimed to have signed a deal to sell the vaccine to the Philippines. Both nations have a dispute over the claims over the South China Sea. Despite claiming its rights over the three islands of the Philippines, China is learned to have said that the Philippines has agreed to buy its vaccine.

In the name of the coronavirus vaccine, China has started debt diplomacy, It has also announced to extend the loan of one billion dollars to Latin America and the Caribbean nations to purchase the vaccine. China has promised Bangladesh to give it one lakh doses of corona vaccine free. Bangladesh, in turn, will allow the Sinovac to conduct the vaccine trials as China never offers a free deal. 

Sinopharm has sent a team to the Latin American nation, Peru, to prepare 6000 volunteers for the vaccine trial. Indonesia also wants to get the vaccine. China's intention behind giving the vaccine to the Philippines and Indonesia is to placate them so that they do not pose a problem to it.

China is known for making goods in quantity but is least bothered about quality. In such a situation, if Made In China vaccine comes, how would people trust it. 

It has been 9 months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Scientists from different countries, where the experiment for the vaccine is on, are saying that it is not possible to get a vaccine before 2021. It means we have to wait for at least 3 months, but China is claiming that its vaccine will be ready within 2 months. China has even claimed to have vaccinated some of its own people since July.

China has further claimed that it has started emergency use of the vaccine along with its trial. This is being administered to health workers and army personnel, but the related data has not been disclosed. 

Chinese hurry can be understood from President XI Jinping's announcement in May that COVID-19 vaccines would be first given to developing countries. This claim can be termed as China's marketing propaganda.