But most people in the mainland, including experts, have stayed away and raised concerns about the safety of Chinese-made vaccines, especially since several pharmaceutical companies are still conducting clinical trials for their products.
Chinese media reported that the central government planned for 50 million vaccinations, with 25 million people receiving the first dose before Jan. 15, 2021, then receiving a second dose before Feb. 15, 2021.
According to a report by The Epoch Times, local authorities in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, didn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine after mandating that residents must be vaccinated. In Shanghai, medical staffers as well as ordinary citizens are concerned about the safety of the vaccine.
More than 90 percent of medical staff in Shanghai Yangpu District Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital refused to receive the vaccines.
Zhang Wenhong, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Huashan Hospital affiliated with Fudan University in Shanghai, said at a meeting on Dec. 22 that many medical workers refuse to be vaccinated and asserted that “it is the leading cadres who should get vaccinated first,” Chinese online media National Daily Business reported.
Many Chinese netizens echo the infectious disease expert’s statement of “Let the leaders get it first.” What’s behind this statement?
First, the Chinese people don’t trust CCP officials and don’t want to be test subjects for the COVID-19 vaccine. The development of a vaccine usually involves three phases of clinical trials. How many people participated in the trials? What are the detailed results? Chinese authorities approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines in July 2020, before the final stage of clinical trials was completed.
State-run firm Sinopharm didn’t provide any breakdown of its clinical trial data, nor disclose the size of its testing sample for its COVID-19 vaccine. The Lancet published a report on CoronaVac, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac; the clinical trial data was ambiguous.
Second, Dr. Sean Lin, former U.S. Army microbiologist and former lab director of the viral disease branch at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, told The Epoch Times that it’s very risky for China to roll out its inactivated vaccines prematurely because all vaccines the country has developed are still in clinical trials.
Lin said: “Inactivated vaccines are very risky. Will all the viruses be killed? In the process of killing, many chemical components are added. What are the side effects of these chemicals?” In other words, the “inactivated vaccines” could end up injecting live virus directly into the human body or cause toxic side effects.
Dr. Mei-Shang Ho, an epidemiologist from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences under the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, told The Epoch Times that inactivated vaccines pose a threat. Ho was part of Taiwan’s SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) vaccine research in 2003 featuring inactivated whole virus vaccines. She found that patients had Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE) after being vaccinated, which means that the vaccines amplified the infection or triggered harmful immunopathology.
She said that Taiwan will never develop these whole virus vaccines, nor will it use them.
Third, information about the effectiveness and side effects of the Chinese-made vaccines hasn’t been widely publicized by authorities.
China’s State Council announced at a press conference on Dec. 31, 2020, that Sinopharm’s inactivated vaccine had been granted “conditional approval” by China’s Drug Administration. The vaccine had an efficacy rate of 79.34 percent, according to state media reports. Is the information reliable? What are the vaccine’s side effects?
It’s noteworthy that a recent trial of CoronaVac in Brazil reported only about a 50.4 percent effective rate, just enough to pass the 50 percent threshold set by the World Health Organization for regulatory approval.
On Jan. 5, Chinese vaccine expert Tao Lina posted a photo of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine instructions on Weibo, in which 73 side effects were listed; he called the Chinese vaccine the most unsafe vaccine in the world. The Weibo post has since been deleted by censors.
The concerns over Chinese-made vaccines are well-founded. In December, at least 16 Chinese employees from a major state-owned enterprise stationed at Lunda Norte Province in Angola were infected with the CCP virus, and they had all received the vaccines developed by Sinopharm, according to a report by Radio Free Asia. About 300 Chinese workers from Tianjin Electric Power Construction Co. were diagnosed with COVID-19 around the same time in Pančevo, Serbia, the report said.
Most of the infected workers received vaccines made by Sinopharm before they left China. Taking the vaccine was a requirement for Chinese citizens working abroad.
Recently, Chinese officials announced that vaccines would be administered for free. However, there’s a catch. CoronaVac, a new vaccine manufactured by state-run drugmaker Sinovac Biotech, set an age limit, allowing people between the ages of 18 and 59 to take the vaccine. Authorities claimed the vaccine is awaiting “further clinical trials.” This move has once again raised questions about the safety and effectiveness of homegrown vaccines.
Fourth, every step of a vaccine’s development, production, transportation, and storage is crucial and demands strict regulation. But China’s communist society has fostered corruption from top to bottom, and officials’ lack of transparency has caused distrust among the people. Any cure or preventative treatment can’t be guaranteed.
At least four major vaccine scandals were exposed between 2007 and 2018: the 2010 Shanxi vaccine; the 2013 hepatitis B vaccine that led to injury and death of infants in southern China; the 2016 Shandong tainted vaccine; and the 2018 Changsheng Bio-Technology vaccine scandal. Problematic vaccines in China have become a norm.
The communist elites are busy studying politics, creating policies, and making money through corruption. They don’t have the time, energy, or frame of mind to do the right thing. Counterfeiting is very common under the CCP regime.
Therefore, even if Chinese leaders were to “go first,” they may just be injected with glucose or saline water, and not the actual vaccine.
The statement “Let the leaders go first” has been heard before, and it’s a phrase that haunts the city of Karamay in Xinjiang.
On Dec. 8, 1994, a fire broke out in a theater in Karamay during a performance attended by high-level officials, local authorities, and students. Witnesses claimed that a woman who helped organize the event and was possibly a government official told everyone in the theater: “Let the leaders go first!” As a result, all the government officials survived.
But 322 others didn’t make it out alive, among them 288 primary and middle school students. After a CCTV reporter revealed the incident 12 years later, the journalist’s documentary film about the fire was censored and banned from public broadcast by Chinese authorities.
People have witnessed the shamelessness and coldness of the CCP leaders.
Now that Chinese officials are requiring the vaccination of citizens as COVID-19 continues to surge in the country, the people are telling their leaders to get it first. It sends a strong signal that people don’t trust the leaders.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The biggest lie that they [CCP] tell is to think that they speak for 1.4 billion people who are surveilled, oppressed, and scared to speak out.”
It’s time for the entire Chinese population to realize this point.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.