The origin point of coronavirus, China is said to have brought the virus under control by imposing strict lockdown measures long before the world even grasped the reality of the virus. As the world now struggles to overcome the pandemic and race to bring an effective vaccine for the virus, China has started mass-rollout of coronavirus vaccine in an eastern Chinese city.
This might come as a relief to many, but there's one major problem. Health experts have raised concerns over the rollout of this so-called coronavirus vaccine, which is yet to be proven effective. Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech is selling its vaccine for COVID-19 called CoronaVac to caregivers, especially those who in the front-line of fighting the virus. The epidemic-prevention workers, public service personnel and port inspectors are being given the vaccine shots outside of clinical trials before selling the vaccine to regular citizens.
"The vaccine, developed by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, will be provided to people aged between 18 and 59 at a price of 400 yuan ($59.5) for two shots," the Jiaxing Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, adding that the vaccine hasn't been "officially approved for marketing" and is only approved for "urgent needs."
There's a mystery over the definition of "urgent needs." There's also no word on how many people in the city of Jiaxing have already been given the vaccine, which is to be given in two doses at an interval of 14-28 days.
Trials for CoronaVac underway
The fact that China is giving (read selling) its unproven CoronaVac to people has raised concerns among experts. According to Reuters, Sinovac vaccine is undergoing trails in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey. The company said an interim analysis of phase 3 trials data could come as early as November - still far from public testing.
In another report, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has decided on Wednesday to cancel the purchase of CoronaVac. Bolsonaro said it is unjust to pay billions for a vaccine that has not been through its testing phase and added that it would be a betrayal to buy Chinese vaccine.