Under the guise of phase 3 clinical trials, China has started injecting COVID-19 vaccines to hundreds of thousands of its citizens.
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This practice, reported in the mainstream media such as Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, has attracted criticism.
Some fear that the Chinese “volunteers” may not really be and that employees of state-owned companies have been forced to comply with the injunctions.
“My fear for the employees of the companies is that it is difficult for them to refuse”, explained to the New York Times, the Dr Kim Mulholland, an Australian researcher.
In addition, other people believe that Phase 3 trials (the last step before a vaccine is approved) carry major risks when performed on such a large scale, including uncontrolled side effects.
The Chinese government, at a press conference at the end of September, retorted that it was an “emergency domestic clearance” for phase 3 testing trials, permitted by the rules of the World Health Organization (WHO).
This claim was later confirmed by the WHO.
The extensive inoculation program began in July. Three vaccines in development are being used, two produced by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm, and the other by Sinovac Biotech, a private company.
According to Chinese government statistics, the country has recorded a very low number of new cases of COVID-19 since last May. We have not yet seen a second wave. Did this large-scale vaccination help? It’s hard to say, especially since the veracity of Chinese statistics since the start of the pandemic has been called into question on several occasions.
In any case, the Chinese figures for cases and deaths linked to the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic are surprisingly low. They are almost equal to those in Quebec.
Officially, there had been 85,489 cases of COVID-19 and 4,634 deaths in China as of last Wednesday; in Quebec, the total reached 81,914 cases and 5,906 deaths.