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Even After Learning Chinese Vaccines Aren’t as Effective, Developing Countries are Committed to Using Them. Here’s Why.

A health worker shows a vial the Chinese-made Vero Cell Covid-19 vaccine, in Kathmandu on April 7, 2021. PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP

The low-efficacy rates of Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines emerged as one of the main reasons cited by Beijing’s critics in the U.S. and Europe as to why developing countries should think twice about procuring too many doses of Sinopharm or Sinovac jabs.

So, when the Director of China’s Centers for Disease Control, Gao Fu, acknowledged that China’s inactivated vaccines are indeed less effective than the messenger RNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, U.S. and European critics pounced. And to those countries who have been buying Chinese vaccines or receiving donations from Beijing, the message was see, we told they were bad — just hold on, we’ll be there shortly with ours.

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