Criticism over use of China-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines continues to grow
After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi tested positive for Covid-19 last month despite taking Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, doubts surrounding the efficacy of the much-touted vaccine have continued to grow.
Three Chinese drug firms are engaged in producing vaccines for Covid-19 and all of them have faced criticism for not making a full disclosure about their phase 3 trial results, prompting the former chief of the China Food and Drug Administration, Bi Jingquan, to ask these forms to provide more data on the trials, reported Noman Hussain for Newshub.lk
Vaccine experts around the globe have vehemently advised against Sinopharm, with the Shanghai-based doctor Tao Lina calling it the "most unsafe vaccine in the world". In February this year, the Egyptian Health and Population Ministry issued a list of potential side-effects from the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine-pain, redness, stiffness and itching at the area of the vaccination, increase in body temperature and more.
Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which produces Sinopharm, has been accused of supplying 400,520 substandard doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough vaccines for infants in 2018 and also of having forged data related to the production of 113,000 rabies vaccines by the Chinese drug controller, reported Newshub.lk.
The World Health Organization's (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation said recently that the vaccine "lacked data in older age groups and in persons with co-morbidities".
To make matters worse, one of the volunteers in Peru died after being injected with the Sinopharm vaccine, while one of the volunteers developed severe neurological side-effects associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome that causes nerve damage and often paralysis, during a clinical trial. All trials of the vaccine have been halted since then.
Furthermore, Sri Lankan health authorities are also deeply hesitant to use Chinese-made vaccines for immunising its citizens. although the country has received 600,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, it has decided to use them only on Chinese nationals.
According to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong, about 61 percent of people do not want to take vaccines made by China, reported Newshub.lk.
Several countries have been affected due to shortcomings of China's big promises on its vaccine diplomacy.