Chinese Vaccine Maker Announces Soaring Sales as Chinese Authorities Reject Foreign Vaccines

By Jenny Li
Jenny Li
Jenny Li
Jenny Li has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2010. She has reported on Chinese politics, economics, human rights issues, and U.S.-China relations. She has extensively interviewed Chinese scholars, economists, lawyers, and rights activists in China and overseas.
January 20, 2022 Updated: January 20, 2022

Vaccine revenues by Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac have surged beginning in the first half of 2021 amid China’s ban of foreign COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

Sinovac Biotech Ltd. reported sales of $11 billion for the first half of 2021, up 162-fold from $67.7 million the previous year, with a net income of $8.6 billion, compared to a net loss of $8.7 million the previous year.

Sinovac is headquartered in Beijing and listed on the NASDAQ. Its COVID vaccine is one of the vaccines approved by Chinese authorities for use in mainland China. China has banned the sale of all foreign vaccines in China, including Pfizer’s and Modena’s, which are widely used in Europe and the United States, and China’s homegrown vaccines dominate their domestic market.

According to news reports in April 2021, Chinese officials were reviewing clinical trial data for a COVID-19 vaccine produced by Germany’s BioNTech SE (BNTX). The first foreign-made vaccine was expected to be approved for use in China in July 2021.

Beijing later delayed approval of the BioNTech vaccine. Chinese health authorities were concerned that the approval of Germany’s BNTX vaccine could cause suspicion of homegrown vaccines among the Chinese public and potentially disrupt China’s vaccination program, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

According to official statements, more than a billion people in China have been vaccinated.

Chinese authorities have touted that COVID-19 vaccines are free for the public. At the same time, pro-CCP internet propagandists were mobilized to praise the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for providing free vaccinations for Chinese citizens and spread rumors that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get vaccines in foreign countries. However, in early 2021, some netizens posted online what they found out from the National Medical Insurance Bureau’s website: the cost of vaccination was paid from the accumulated balance of the medical insurance fund for Chinese citizens.

Zhu Wei, the medical director of a U.S. pharmaceutical company, told The Epoch Times that the Chinese regime’s extreme COVID-zero policy shows that it actually has no confidence in China’s own domestic vaccines.

“If they really had any confidence, they would gradually open up like Western countries,” Zhu said. “If China has already achieved a vaccination rate of 90 percent, 95 percent, or even 100 percent, and has reached a nationwide vaccination level of 2.6 billion vaccines, yet it still initiates such an extreme [COVID-]zero policy, it shows that the Chinese authorities have no confidence in the effectiveness of China’s domestic vaccines.”

Zhu said the Chinese leaders don’t put people’s health first.

“If they really wanted to increase the population’s ability to resist the virus, they would consider doing what other countries have done and pushing for more effective foreign vaccines, including Pfizer’s, Modena’s, and Johnson & Johnson’s, which are certainly more effective.”

On Jan. 15 of this year, the Chinese authorities said the Omicron variant had been found in 12 Chinese regions. Five days before the public announcement, Anyang city in Henan Province had locked down, suspending personnel movement and coordinating nucleic acid tests for all residents. All motor vehicles in the city were banned from roads, factories stopped production, and railways stopped selling tickets to Beijing.

Singapore’s health minister said on Jan. 10 that research data showed that mortality rates of fully vaccinated people was higher for those who had obtained Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines developed by China than for those who had obtained Modena and Pfizer vaccines. Calculated per 100,000, the number of people who still died after receiving the Sinopharm vaccine was 11, and the number who died after receiving the Sinovac vaccine was 7.8, while 6.2 and 1 died after receiving the Pfizer and Modena vaccines, respectively.

Sinovac was not included in Singapore’s national vaccination program due to lack of data on its efficacy against the Delta variant.

Previous studies in Hong Kong have also shown that Sinovac vaccines are not effective in preventing infection by the COVID-19 virus. A study published in December 2021 by the Faculties of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that people who received three doses of Sinovac did not have sufficient levels of antibodies against the Omicron variant.

A joint study conducted by Yale University and the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health showed that if a person’s first two doses were Sinovac, a third dose, including from Pfizer, was not effective in giving immunity to Omicron. The study showed that two doses of Sinovac combined with a Pfizer booster produced antibody levels similar to two doses of the mRNA shot.

In July 2021, The Lancet Microbe published a study by the University of Hong Kong with more than 1,000 participants. It showed that the Sinovac vaccine produced only one-tenth as many antibodies as Pfizer’s.

Jenny Li
Jenny Li has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2010. She has reported on Chinese politics, economics, human rights issues, and U.S.-China relations. She has extensively interviewed Chinese scholars, economists, lawyers, and rights activists in China and overseas.