Bahrain and Seychelles are among the countries that have administered the Chinese vaccines Sinovac and Sinoform to most of their citizens. But despite this, when the cases of corona infection started increasing rapidly there, these countries again started getting Pfizer vaccine. The United Arab Emirates’ health department is re-introducing the Pfizer vaccine in Dubai to people who had received a full dose of China-made Sinoform.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a senior Bahrain official said that despite large-scale vaccination, when the cases of corona started increasing, then citizens coming in the risk group are being given vaccine doses of Pfizer and BioNTech SE. Waleed Khalifa Al Maniya, Under-Secretary of the Bahrain Health Department, said that so far more than 60 percent of the citizens of Bahrain have received the vaccine from China’s state-run company Sinofarm. However, in the current wave of corona in Bahrain, the 90 infected who had to be hospitalized, did not get the vaccine. He said that the people of Bahrain suffering from serious diseases, obese and above 50 years of age have been requested to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine again after six months.
Waleed Khalifa Al-Maniya said that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now being provided to citizens who have not yet been vaccinated. Although China’s vaccine option is still available, but those who are sensitive in every respect, are old, they are being advised to get the vaccine from Pfizer.
The vaccines of Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd have been approved by the World Health Organization. China has used Sinoform and its other corona vaccines as diplomatic tools on the international stage. Especially in developing countries, China sent vaccines which were not able to buy vaccines made in American or European countries.
Both Chinese vaccines are made from inactivated viruses. This is an old technique of making vaccines. At the same time, Pfizer-BioNtech has prepared the vaccine using a new technology employing RNA. There is little published clinical data on the efficacy of synopharm among population groups vulnerable to severe disease. The clinical trial of the Chinese vaccine involved 40,382 participants, mostly in the Middle East, most of them from the United Arab Emirates.
The study, published on May 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reported that Sinoform is 78 percent effective on symptomatic patients. No information has been given regarding how useful this vaccine is in severe cases. The study also had no data on whether the Sinoform vaccine was effective in patients over 60 years of age.
Another unpublished study of Sinofarm in Serbia reported that 29% of 150 participants did not have antibodies against the virus, despite taking two doses of the Chinese vaccine. Dr Olgica Jurkovich-Djokovic, who studied at the University of Belgrade, told the Wall Street Journal, “The Sinopharm vaccine is not sufficiently effective in building immunity, and it appears to have little effect, especially in the elderly.” He told that out of 150 people involved in the trial of Sinofarm, 10 people could not escape from the grip of Kovid-19.
Sinoform was questioned in this regard but this Chinese company did not respond. The company has not yet publicly responded to questions about the efficacy of its vaccine. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was questioned at a May 12 press briefing on a published article about the escalation of cases despite the installation of synforms in Seychelles. Hua Chunying said that through the article the intention to defame China on every front has been exposed.
Bahrain has already got 47% of its population vaccinated. At the same time, 41% of people in America and 38% in Britain have been vaccinated. In Bahrain, there are 12 deaths per million people per day due to corona. In terms of population, this figure is 5 times more than that of India. However, Bahrain officials also believe that due to holidays and the combination of the month of Ramadan, there has been an increase in corona cases.
In Seychelles, 65 percent of the population has been vaccinated, but still there is an increase in corona cases. The WHO says that most of those who get corona infected include those who either did not get the vaccine or who have taken the first dose. The Health Ministry of Seychelles is considering getting its citizens a third dose.
The United Arab Emirates said in March that those who have not produced antibodies even after taking two doses, are being given a third dose of Sinoform. In the UAE too, most people have received the Sinoform vaccine. But now those who have survived the vaccination are being given another vaccine like Bahrain. People in Dubai who had been given both doses of Sinoform have now started giving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Vrinda Satheeswaran, a resident of Dubai, has confirmed this with the Wall Street Journal.
In its preliminary report on Sinopharm’s phase three trials, the UAE government said in December that the vaccine was 86 percent effective for people with the disease, 100 percent for patients with moderate and severe disease. Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte are among leaders who have publicly taken the sinoform vaccine.
There are many countries that are building vaccine plants to manufacture synopharm locally for the production of Chinese vaccine. But the question is, what will be their decision now after Sinopharma does not appear effective?