Controversy over the efficacy of Chinese vaccines is heating up as the Korean government has imposed quarantine exemptions for overseas vaccine recipients, including Chinese vaccines, from July 1.

At the center of the controversy is a vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac.

Earlier, on the 1st of last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccine in China following the Sinofam vaccine.

At that time, the WHO reported that "the prophylactic effect of the Cynovac vaccine was 51%."

The WHO approval standard for vaccine use is '50% preventative effect'.

More than 100 medical staff killed in Indonesia's Sinovac vaccine...

Thailand cross-vaccination approval

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported on the 9th that the Sinovac vaccine is the most used worldwide. So far, more than 943 million doses have been supplied worldwide, and 2.9 billion doses of the Chinese vaccine will be produced by the end of this year, he said. He said that among Chinese vaccines, controversy over the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine surfaced in Indonesia.

According to reports, more than 130 health care workers in Indonesia have died from COVID-19 since last month. Of these, 58 have died this month. Among the dead was Dr. Nobilia, who oversaw clinical trials of the Sinovac vaccine in Indonesia. 95% of Indonesian health care workers have been vaccinated, and it was found that most of them received the Sinovac vaccine.

The controversy over the Sinovac vaccine has also been raised in Thailand, Singapore, and South American countries. In Thailand, where vaccination has been started since the end of February, medical staff received the vaccine for the first time, and most of them were vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine. However, hundreds of medical staff who received the vaccine became infected with COVID-19, some of them were reported to be severe. Eventually, Thai authorities approved a booster shot (Boostershot) of Pfizer vaccine for medical staff. The medical staff who completed the synovac vaccine were given an additional Pfizer vaccine to reinforce the vaccine's efficacy. According to Thai authorities, among the vaccines supplied or planned to be supplied to Thailand, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac are the most effective in preventing delta mutations in that order.

Singapore has exempted those vaccinated against Sinovac from the pre-screening exemption. The Singaporean authorities required pre-test for COVID-19 when participating in various events, such as large gatherings, but exempted those who have been vaccinated. However, this target excludes those vaccinated with cynovac. Therefore, people who have been vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna in Singapore do not need to be pre-screened, but those vaccinated with cynovac must be pre-screened even if they have been vaccinated.

Brazil's President Bolsonaro said on social media that "the synovac vaccine has little effect on the prevention of coronavirus", and in Chile, 58% of the population had completed the second dose of the vaccine by the 7th, but on the 6th and 7th The spread of the virus is not slowing down, with 1,800 new confirmed cases each. It is known that 80% of people vaccinated in Chile have received the cynovac vaccine.

China "Recognized the effect of cynovac in Chile…Chinese vaccine is also effective against delta mutation"

China is actively defending itself.

China's state-run Global Times reported on the 9th that "Sinovac vaccine showed high efficacy in Chile."

Citing an academic report published on the 7th, the media reported that the preventive effect of the Sinovac vaccine in Chile was 65.9%.

The prevention of hospitalization was 87.5% and the prevention of death was 86.3%.

The study, which involved 10.2 million people, adds that the findings are invaluable as Chile has the highest coronavirus testing rate in Latin America, universal access to health care, and a standardized statistical system.

Furthermore, in Brazil and Indonesia, the vaccine's effectiveness in preventing hospitalization exceeded 90%, contributing to preventing the collapse of the medical system.

However, the media did not elaborate on when the study was conducted, before or after the delta mutation spread.

In this regard, Liu Peicheng, spokesperson for Sinobaek, told the Global Times, "We are studying how effective the Sinovac vaccine is for the delta mutation, and we will publish the results in a journal in the future."

It is read to the effect that efficacy against delta mutations has not yet been established.

Prior to this, Zhong Nanshan, an official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, China's top authority on respiratory diseases, said on the 3rd that "Chinese vaccines are also effective in preventing delta mutations."

In addition, an immunologist, who requested anonymity, told The Global Times, "Inactivated vaccines, such as those made in China, theoretically have all the antigens of the virus, so they are more effective against mutation."

It is confusing whether there are any studies on the actual delta variation or whether it only works theoretically.

Regarding the death of Dr. Nobilia in Indonesia, the Global Times denied any connection with the Sinovac vaccine, saying, "The cause of death has not been confirmed yet" and "It is not known whether he was vaccinated."

China has approved the emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine for children aged 3 to 17 years.

WHO: All vaccines approved for emergency use should be treated equally

As the controversy over the synovac vaccine grew, the WHO's position was also perplexed. Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Wang Wenbin said at a regular briefing, "The WHO has already put a Chinese vaccine on the emergency use authorization list." It means passing the ball of controversy to the WHO.

The WHO position is that countries should treat all vaccines approved for emergency use equally. Covax, a vaccine joint procurement project led by the WHO, said in a statement that "allowing only some of the WHO-approved vaccines to receive benefits, such as resumption of travel, will create a dual system and expand the vaccine divide." I did. However, the European Medicines Agency has not issued an emergency approval for a vaccine made in China.

The government's exemption from quarantine upon entry is based on the WHO's judgment. Of course, there is still no vaccine that is 100% effective against the current delta mutation. There must have been scientific and medical judgments and standards for the WHO's approval for emergency use. However, it is also true that the controversy surrounding the cynovac vaccine is more unusual than other vaccines. This may lead to distrust of the synovac vaccine recipients. Responsibility for dispelling distrust seems to lie with Shinobaek, China, and furthermore, the WHO.