The European Union is expected to exclude Chinese-made vaccines from its “vaccine passport” certification program because they aren’t approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). At the same time, Vietnam is reportedly buying large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines from Western countries and Russia, although not from China.
On March 12, Euronews reported that the EU is expected to vote on a “vaccine passport” proposal on March 17 as a requirement for travel within the EU. The “passport” could only accept vaccines approved by the EMA, according to Ylva Johansson, commissioner for internal affairs of the EU.
At present, the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved by the EMA, with trial data for all four vaccines published in medical journals. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been temporarily suspended by several European nations due to potential side effects.
None of the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the EMA.
China has produced four types of COVID-19 vaccines from Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSinoBIO. However, detailed data about their clinical trials haven’t been published.
The lack of transparency of the Chinese vaccines is the major reason why the EMA hasn’t approved any of them, according to SCMP, because data on the safety and efficacy of vaccines is required for approval.
Adding to concerns, three people in Hong Kong died after being vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine, and another three people were rushed to the hospital shortly after being vaccinated.
So far, Serbia and Hungary have ordered Chinese vaccines. Earlier this month, the Chinese regime’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said that China has provided vaccines to 69 developing countries free of charge, while exporting vaccines to 43 countries, a move that is seen by some as pushing forward the regime’s soft power. The Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece Global Times pressured the EU to include Chinese vaccines in the “vaccine passports” program, and called the rejection of them “vaccine nationalism.”
Meanwhile, according to Radio Free Asia, Vietnam is importing a large number of COVID-19 vaccines from the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and other countries, but has overlooked the Chinese vaccines.
The Health Bureau of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam recently submitted a proposal to import 5 million doses of the Modena vaccine from the United States. The Ministry of Health of Vietnam is also negotiating with other U.S. manufacturers to obtain more vaccines.
In February, Vietnam received 117,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the UK. At the end of February, Vietnam also approved Russia’s “Satellite-V” vaccine, ordering around 150 million doses from Russia.