Chinese embassy defends China-made vaccines
Undated photo shows coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
Sinovac, file

Chinese embassy defends China-made vaccines

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — China-made vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 are “global public goods” and low-cost, which will benefit developing countries, the Chinese embassy in Manila said yesterday.

The embassy defended Chinese pharmaceutical firms Sinovac and Sinopharm, both of which face questions on lack of transparency and low efficacy rates of their vaccines.

Officials at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo said that a trial conducted in Brazil showed that the CoronaVac vaccine, made by the Beijing-based company Sinovac, had an efficacy rate just over 50 percent.

“Chinese vaccines are the global public goods, and #China has made it clear in many occasions that its vaccines will benefit the developing countries in the first place,” the embassy said in a Facebook post.

The embassy added that “Chinese vaccines are low-cost and can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, which is especially suitable for #African countries.”

Earlier, President Duterte vouched for the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Chinese firms.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19, said the prices of COVID vaccines circulating in various social media platforms and other publications are based on commercial value and are not the same as the government’s negotiated prices under the COVAX facility.

In Congress, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said the apparent shortage in COVID-19 vaccines available to many countries is due to an overprocurement by rich countries relative to their populations. – Cecille Suerte Felipe

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