China is a major supplier of coronavirus vaccine, giving it enormous leverage in pandemic-ravaged nations. Brazil, recently hostile to the Chinese company Huawei, has suddenly changed its stance.
It’s not hard to work out who to blame for the country’s disastrous vaccine rollout.
The Chinese Communist Party reached deep into private business and the broader population to drive a recovery, an authoritarian approach that has emboldened its top leader, Xi Jinping.
Delays, inconsistent data, spotty disclosures and the country’s attacks on Western rivals have marred its ambitious effort to portray itself as a leader in global health.
The country has relatively few doses and is paying a price for its leader’s slow pursuit of vaccines early on. That lapse may hinder Brazil’s ability to fight worrisome variants.
Brazil says CoronaVac has an efficacy rate just over 50 percent, much lower than previously announced. More than 380 million doses have already been ordered.
President Joko Widodo hopes to begin inoculations soon, but the vaccine from the Chinese company Sinovac still needs approval from safety regulators and an influential council of Muslim clerics.
Across the country, local governments plan to inoculate 50 million people by early next year. But the vaccines have not officially been approved.
The clinical trial in Turkey was much smaller than those of other major vaccine candidates, making the researchers’ claims for it less certain.
Political infighting, haphazard planning and a rising anti-vaccine movement have turned the country into a cautionary tale in the coronavirus era.
Many say they are reassured because politicians and executives have been inoculated. But experts say the risks outweigh the benefits.
The government offered little explanation as to why it had stopped testing a promising coronavirus shot; an institute involved in the trial said a participant’s death was unrelated to the vaccine.
Beijing is offering several vaccine candidates to employees of state-owned companies and the armed forces, while also conducting clinical trials in other countries.