Five Vaccinated Countries With High Covid Rates Depend On Chinese Vaccines – .

Five Vaccinated Countries With High Covid Rates Depend On Chinese Vaccines – .

Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese companies Sinopharm (left) and Sinovac arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport in Cambodia on June 8, 2021.
Sovannara | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
Among countries with both high vaccination rates and high Covid-19 infection rates, most depend on vaccines made in China, according to a CNBC analysis.
The findings come as the efficacy of Chinese vaccines comes under scrutiny, compounded by a lack of data on their protection against the more transmissible delta variant. CNBC found that weekly Covid cases, adjusted for population, have remained high in at least six of the world’s most vaccinated countries – and five of them depend on vaccines from China.

CNBC has identified 36 countries with more than 1,000 new weekly confirmed cases per million population as of July 6, using figures from Our World in Data, which compiles information from sources such as the World Health Organization, governments and researchers at the University of Oxford. CNBC then identified countries among those 36 where more than 60% of the population received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.

These countries were six in number, and five of them use Chinese vaccines as part of their national immunization programs: the United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Mongolia, Uruguay and Chile. The only country among them that does not depend on Chinese vaccines is the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the UK has approved vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech and Janssen. Cases of Covid in the UK have increased in recent weeks as the most transmissible delta variant has spread there.
Sinopharm and Sinovac did not respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

Several factors can cause a surge in Covid cases in countries with high vaccination rates. Vaccines do not provide 100% protection, so those that are vaccinated can still be infected. At the same time, new variants of the coronavirus may prove to be more effective in beating vaccines.

The best option for many countries

Countries should not stop using Covid-19 vaccines from China, epidemiologists say, especially as vaccine supply is limited in low- and middle-income countries.

Many countries and territories that have approved vaccines by Sinopharm and Sinovac are developing countries that cannot compete with wealthier countries for vaccines developed in the United States and Europe.

Ben Cowling, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong, said countries may decide to use certain vaccines depending on their long-term goals.

“Some countries can accept a low level of circulation as long as there are relatively few severe cases and deaths from COVID-19,” Cowling, who heads the epidemiology and biostatistics division of the COVID-19, told CNBC. school, in an email. “This should be achievable with high coverage of any of the available vaccines. “

Yet some countries are avoiding Chinese vaccines. Costa Rica last month rejected a shipment of vaccines developed by Sinovac after concluding that it was not effective enough.

WHO approval

The World Health Organization has approved the vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac for emergency use.

The effectiveness of the two Chinese vaccines is lower than that of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, both of which have been shown to be over 90% effective.

Sinopharm’s vaccine is 79% effective against symptomatic Covid infections, according to the WHO, but its effectiveness among certain groups – such as people 60 and older – is unclear. Sinovac’s firing efficiency is around 50% to over 80%, depending on the country where the trials took place.

Experts say the results between clinical trials cannot be compared directly because each trial is set up differently. But a Hong Kong study found antibody levels “significantly higher” in people who received the BioNTech vaccine, compared to those who received the Sinovac vaccine, the South China Morning Post reported.

Some experts suggest that the technology behind the different Covid vaccines could explain the variations in their effectiveness.

The vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac trigger an immune response by exposing the body to a weakened or “inactivated” virus – a proven method that has been used by vaccines for decades. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna based their vaccines on a technology called messenger RNA, which asks the body to make viral proteins that induce an immune response.

“Inactivated vaccines are easy to manufacture and are known to be safe, but tend to produce a weaker immune response compared to some other types of vaccines,” wrote Michael Head, senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton in the UK. an article published on The Conversation.

Yet large phase three clinical trials have shown that inactivated vaccines have “high efficacy against serious illness and death” from Covid, Cowling said.

The professor told CNBC that peaks in Covid cases among some countries that use Chinese vaccines “tend to be outbreaks of mild infections with very few severe cases in fully vaccinated individuals.”

“Collective immunity”

When vaccines are less effective, more people must be inoculated to achieve “herd immunity”. This happens when the virus no longer spreads quickly because most people are immune to having been vaccinated or having recovered from an infection.
Some countries have decided to try to achieve collective immunity at the start of the pandemic, but no country is known to have succeeded. Some who said they would achieve herd immunity, like Sweden, ended up being hit much harder by Covid than neighboring countries who took the vaccination route.

A study by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney claimed that in the Australian state of New South Wales, herd immunity could be achieved if 66% of the population received vaccines with 90% effectiveness against all infections.

The proportion of the population that needs to be vaccinated is 86% if the vaccine’s efficacy is 70%, and herd immunity is not achievable if the vaccine’s efficacy is less than 60%, has shown study.


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