Scandal haunts China in the Covid-19 vaccine race

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec24,2023 #China #Covid #Scandal
Scandal haunts China in the Covid-19 vaccine race 3
Scandal haunts China in the Covid-19 vaccine race 3

Desperate to protect its people and deflect international criticism regarding its response to Covid-19, China is aggressively putting effort into pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine against nCoV.

However, China’s leaders are betting on a vaccine industry that has long been mired in a series of scandals and quality problems.

Although it did not cause any deaths, this vaccine scandal has seriously reduced public trust in China’s domestic vaccine production industry, raising fears that corruption and abuse of power in

The laboratory of vaccine development company Sinovac Biotech in Beijing.

Therefore, finding a vaccine is not enough.

`Chinese people now no longer trust vaccines produced in their own country,` said Ray Yip, former head of the Gates Foundation in China.

The need for nCoV vaccine is extremely urgent.

On the other hand, successful vaccine development will help China consolidate its position as a global scientific and medical power.

China has set the task of developing a Covid-19 vaccine as a priority goal.

Huang Shiyue, 18, a first-year medical student in Wuhan, left his apartment on a recent Sunday morning for the first time in three months.

`If I can help and benefit everyone with just one small action of mine, I think it’s worth it,` Huang said.

According to experts, the race to develop a vaccine has revealed both Beijing’s strengths and weaknesses.

With its control, China can quickly bring together companies and scientists to achieve national goals.

But at the same time, Chinese pharmaceutical companies, accustomed to government protection against competition from foreign competitors, rarely invest in research and development.

Instead, companies are investing heavily in sales and distribution, much of which involves managing relationships with local disease control centers.

Chinese managers also tend to `close their eyes` when working with state-owned companies, which account for about 40% of the vaccine industry.

The vaccine that Huang received was developed by CanSino Biologics, a pharmaceutical company based in Tianjin and the Chinese military’s medical scientific research agency.

The vaccine developed by CanSino is the first vaccine to enter phase II testing, far ahead of other candidates in the world, although there is no guarantee of its effectiveness.

Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, a branch of state corporation Sinopharm, has also entered phase II vaccine testing.

The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products was involved in the 2018 scandal of Changchun Changsheng company, when many substandard doses of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus vaccines were injected into hundreds of thousands of children.

The government then pledged to quickly clean up the vaccine industry, and also confiscated the `illegal income` of the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, fining the company and nine executives.

The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products was also entangled in lawsuits in China at least twice.

Executives of the Wuhan institute were accused at least three times of bribing officials at disease control and prevention centers in various provinces to buy vaccines produced by the company.

Sinovac Biotech was also implicated in a bribery scandal.

Scandal haunts China in the Covid-19 vaccine race

CanSino Biologics company headquarters in Tianjin.

Despite many controversies, the above companies are still allowed by the Chinese government to accelerate the vaccine testing process.

Ding Sheng, dean of the Institute of Pharmacy at Tsinghua University, said that some companies have `applied non-traditional methods` in the pre-clinical research stage, carrying out many steps at the same time while conducting

`I understand that people are eager to develop a vaccine. But from a scientific standpoint, no matter how worried we are, we still cannot lower the standards,` Ding said.

Virologist Tran Vi’s research facility is calling for volunteers to participate in phase I vaccine testing on the Internet.

Worried, Huang searched for information on the Internet and called teachers and parents to ask for advice.

15 minutes after being vaccinated, Huang began to feel dizzy.

Doctor Tran and his colleagues examined Huang’s health.

Huang said she feels better at home.

Shi Zibo, a university student, also signed up as a volunteer and was injected with the experimental vaccine on April 12.

`I felt very proud when I received the call,` Shi said.

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