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Has China said its Covid-19 vaccines are less effective?

A Zimbabwean online publication, Pindula, April 11, 2021, carried a story under the headline: China Admits Its Coronavirus Vaccines’ Effectiveness Is Low in which the publication claimed China’s top disease control official had said Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccines have low effectiveness and with the government considering mixing them to give them a boost.

VERDICT: CORRECT

The Asian country’s vaccines – Sinopharm and Sinovac – are being used in Zimbabwe’s ongoing inoculation programme.

International news outlet, Aljazeera, reported on April 11, 2021 that in a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, that country’s top disease control official said their effectiveness was low and that the government was considering mixing them in an attempt to boost their efficacy. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/11/chinese-vaccines-effectiveness-low-official-admits

Gao Fu, director of the China Centers for Disease Control, is quoted by Aljazeera at a conference on Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, as saying Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates”.

The Financial Express also carried an article pointing to the same thing, quoting Gao Fu saying their vaccines do not have very high protection rates, adding: “it’s now under formal consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines for the immunisation process.” 

https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/weak-shot-with-protection-against-covid-19-from-chinese-vaccines-being-poor-will-china-pivot-towards-foreign-vaccines/2231138/

The Times of India also confirms China’s admission. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/chinese-vaccines-effectiveness-low-official/articleshow/82014182.cms

Sinovac has been found to have an efficacy rate of 50 percent compared to other vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech – also a two-dose regimen – has been found to be 97 percent effective.

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