Anxiety clouds China’s rush to vaccinate parts of the world

Anxiety clouds China’s rush to vaccinate parts of the world

Experts worry that doubts about data threaten to undermine immunisation efforts

China has promised coronavirus vaccines to parts of the world struggling to access western jabs, even as concerns emerge over Beijing’s deviation from international standards for transparency during drug development.

This month, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates’ separate announcements that they had approved a vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm raised further questions about the inoculation.

In both instances, the Gulf states released only brief statements declaring that initial analysis of Sinopharm’s vaccines had shown them to be 86 per cent effective. Neither underlying data nor details of analysis carried out by Sinopharm or the regulatory bodies were released.

International experts worry that the opacity of the process and allegations of short-cuts taken by China risk undermining global immunisation efforts.