China Says Its COVID-19 Vaccines Don’t Work Well, Then Backtracks

(Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The director of China’s Center for Disease Control reportedly admitted Saturday that his country’s vaccines aren’t nearly as effective as they need to be.

“We will solve the issue that current vaccines don’t have very high protection rates,” Chinese CDC Director Gao Fu said at a conference Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “It’s now under consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines for the immunization process.”

After the event, Gao claimed to be talking about the efficacy of all vaccines globally, not only Chinese vaccines.

America’s three approved vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have proven to be exceptionally effective. The same cannot necessarily be said of China’s vaccines. (RELATED: Argentine President Tests Positive For COVID-19 Despite Receiving Russian Vaccine)

Chinese officials and state-owned media have attacked the reliability of American vaccines, which are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. China has five vaccines approved for COVID-19, which the companies developing them say are between 50% and 79% effective, according to the Associated Press.

There have been questions for months about the true efficacy of China’s vaccines. Brazilian researchers indicated that the vaccine from Chinese firm SinoVac may only be around 50% effective, and studies from other countries reached wildly varied conclusions about the shot.

Gao’s own research team has not released efficacy data for its coronavirus vaccine, which was approved for emergency use in March.

China has emphasized vaccine diplomacy as a means of winning international favor by sending millions of doses of its vaccines to the rest of the world, largely to developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has not approved any foreign vaccines for use within its own country. (RELATED: China Offers To Vaccinate All Olympic Athletes Ahead Of Beijing, Tokyo Games)

That vaccine diplomacy has resulted in a lagging vaccination rate for Chinese citizens themselves. The CCP’s domestic vaccination rate has been about five times slower than America’s.