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Ineffectiveness of vaccine and Zero Covid policy spell trouble for China

ANI | Updated: Mar 25, 2022 20:53 IST

Beijing [China], March 25 (ANI): While the situation in the once-seriously-affected Covid-19-hit countries are slowly getting back to normalcy, China is struggling hard to control the rising cases now.
The situation is becoming worse every passing day. There are two apparent reasons for the Chinese woes. First, Beijing's much-touted 'Zero Covid' policy has failed to achieve the expected outcome. And second is the inefficacy of Chinese vaccines against coronavirus.
Chinese vaccines SinoVac and SinoPharm were among the first vaccines developed to build antibodies against coronavirus. China exported these vaccines to different countries and even donated them to some poor countries. In the due course of time, complaints started coming in about the ineffectiveness of these vaccines. China refused the reports.
But many countries went on administering, an additional dose, also known as a booster shot, to those already vaccinated. At the end of December when the Omicron variant was spreading fast, China's Sinovac showed its limitation in countering the virus.
According to a study conducted by the University of Hong Kong, SinoVac generated very poor virus killing antibody responses against Omicron. Moreover, it failed to provide adequate levels of protection in those who were already given two doses of Sinovac. This certainly does not bring good news for Chinese health authorities since they had administered over 2.6 million doses to its 1.6 billion populations by 2021.
According to a government report, 3 per cent of people aged above 80 years died after taking two doses of the Chinese vaccine SinoVac. The fatality rate is 6 per cent for those who took one dose. Moreover, a document by the Chinese National Health Commission showed that Chinese vaccines were leading to leukemia.
The ineffectiveness of vaccines has left Chinese authorities with no option but to rely on forced lockdowns to break the chain of infection. Major cities are shut down, people are locked out, markets are closed, and industry supply chains are broken. This has affected people's routine life as well as caused loss of jobs and income. China has been imposing lockdowns in various major cities as the number of fresh cases increases.

In Shenzhen city, people are compelled to undergo three rounds of testing. They can only go out for testing. All means of public transport are suspended and no one can leave the city. This has impacted people as well as businesses. Tech giant Apple too has suspended its operations in Shenzhen.
Matt Murphy CEO of Shenzhen-based semiconductor manufacturing company Marvell Technology said the lockdowns were aggravating the problems for the technology supply chain. "More broadly, if you look at the situation in China, the lockdowns certainly have the potential to have all kinds of disruption in the electronics industry," he said.
The latest outbreak has impacted almost every corner of China. Authorities are implementing the 'Zero Covid' policy strictly, which has disrupted food and medicine supplies, manufacturing and retail business. Yet, the cases are rising, thus frustrating the authorities as well as the locked-out residents. Notably, over 85 per cent of the Chinese population is vaccinated.
People are blaming the government and vaccine companies for mismanagement and are protesting against forced vaccination. "The testing agencies want this to go on. The vaccine companies want to inoculate forever," said a Chinese citizen on the social media platform WeChat.
Another Chinese citizen Lau said he was feeling helpless. "There's nothing we can do. We don't know when it's going to end, clients are on the verge of cancelling orders, supplies are dwindling and employees can't get to work," he said.
The frustration regarding the failure of the 'Zero Covid' policy is growing among authorities as well. Jilin provincial health commission official Zhang Yan accepted there was mismanagement in tackling the virus infection. "The emergency response mechanism in some areas is not robust enough, there is insufficient understanding of the characteristics of the Omicron variant ... and judgment has been inaccurate," Yan said.
India, the second populous country after China and suffered badly earlier, now has managed to control the Covid-19 spread. New Delhi has declared that there will not be any restrictions on public movement after March.
In China, however, people are still vulnerable to viral infection as Chinese vaccines have been found to be ineffective in just six months after administering them.
The Chinese population is still quite far from achieving herd immunity. In such a scenario, only an effective vaccine appears to be the only solution. However, the Chinese vaccines are failing in their objectives. Rather they are becoming disastrous in some cases. (ANI)