As the race for vaccine heats up, India made vaccines are expectedly in high demand despite Chinese President Xi Jinping knocking the doors of various countries in a desperate bid to convince them to purchase Chinese vaccines whose quality and efficacy are up in the air. After Brazil, it seems that even South Africa has snubbed Chinese vaccines, as the African country has placed an order with the Serum Institute of India to supply 1.5 million doses of the vaccines to the country.
South African Health Minister, Zwelini Mkhize in a statement announced the deal with the Serum Institute of India with the first tranche of order – 1 million doses set to arrive in the country later this month with the remainder of the doses to follow in February.
“We are happy that the SII/ Astra Zeneca vaccine has already been approved by various regulators and is being rolled out in other countries. Therefore, as part of expediting the regulatory process National Department of Health and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAPRA) is applying reliance on that regulatory work,” said Mkhize.
It is pertinent to note that during the virtual summit of BRICS held in November last year, Xi Jinping had stated that China will ‘actively consider’ providing its Covid-19 vaccines directly to SA and other African countries.
“Under the guidance of BRICS public health cooperation, we shall promote the development of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre, advance collective vaccine research and trials of BRICS countries, including China and South Africa, set up plants, authorise production and recognise each other’s standards,” said Chen Xiaodong, China’s Ambassador to South Africa post the summit.
Brazil on the other hand, is striking a deal with Bharat Biotech for the indigenously developed vaccine. According to news reports, the Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC), confirmed on its website it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bharat Biotech to purchase its Covaxin vaccine, which is currently in the final stage of clinical trials.
“We had been looking for solutions for the private market, and the possibility came up of using this Indian vaccine, which is very promising,” ABCVAC president Geraldo Barbosa told TV network Globo News.
Read More: Brazil requests for 5 million vaccine doses from India after dumping the Chinese vaccine
Any final deal would be subject to approval by Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa, which is yet to approve any vaccine against the new coronavirus. However, given Brazil’s rejection of the Chinese vaccines, it looks a mere formality that the Indian variant of the vaccine would be fast-tracked and approved in a few days.
As reported by TFI earlier, Brazil’s health regulator had halted clinical trials of the Chinese coronavirus vaccine named CoronaVac after serious and adverse side effects of the vaccine started emerging. The dubious Chinese vaccine had stirred controversy in Brazil, where even President Jair Bolsonaro had cast doubt on its prospective effectiveness. Jair had publicly rejected CoronaVac, saying Brazilians would not be used as guinea pigs.
In fact, the Chinese vaccine approved for local use had only one only 79.3 per cent efficacy with even the World Health Organisation who worked for hand in glove with Chinese President Xi Jinping to unleash the pandemic on the world, has approved only five Chinese vaccines for export compared to 47 vaccines from India.
Read More: India’s neighbourhood firmly rejects Chinese vaccine and asks for the trustworthy Indian vaccine
In what has become a norm in global diplomacy, anything that China gives comes with a steep price with Southeast Asian countries increasingly getting infuriated with the political conditions attached to the export of Chinese vaccines. Additionally, China’s decision to inoculate more than 1 million of its own citizens with Sinopharm doses without even completing full trials is a testament to how China cares little about the welfare of its own people, let alone the citizens of other countries.
It seems that not just India’s neighbouring countries, but countries across the world are favouring India made vaccines.