The Chinese foreign ministry has reacted with anger at the New York Times after it claimed that countries using Chinese Covid-19 vaccines are now among the most affected by the virus.
The NYT published the story last week under the headline: “They Relied on Chinese Vaccines. Now They’re Battling Outbreaks.”
The summary of the report said: “More than 90 countries are using Covid shots from China. Experts say recent infections in those places should serve as a cautionary tale in the global effort to fight the disease.”
The report named Chile as one of the worst affected countries.
Speaking on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, slammed the Times report and claimed that information from Chilean health authorities suggested that China’s exported Covid-19 vaccines are working well, according to RT World News.
Citing the head of the Chilean health department, Wang claimed that the NYT report does not reflect the facts. “It is regrettable. The outside world claims that the CoronaVac shot is ineffective without any scientific basis.”
He said that if the NYT conclusion about the Chinese vaccines were true, then “surely there would be disastrous consequences in China” where all the vaccines administered are developed within the country.
Wang added that “Wise netizens have correctly noted that the slander of China’s vaccine is out of prejudice against Beijing.”
He called on US media to stop spreading misinformation about vaccines and instead to promote the availability of affordable vaccines in developing countries.
In April, Chile said that data proved the CoronaVac jab to be 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infections of Covid-19. The vast majority of the country’s shots come from the Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech.
In its report, the NYT stated that in the Seychelles, Chile, Bahrain and Mongolia, where high levels of immunisation had been achieved primarily using Chinese vaccines, there were alarming new outbreaks.
According to their own official data, all four countries now ranked among the nations with the worst Covid-19 outbreaks as recently as last week.
Bahrain experienced a severe outbreak which peaked in May, and the other three countries are currently trying to overcome record highs for national daily Covid infections.
On Sunday it was reported that at least 10 of 26 Indonesian doctors who died from Covid-19 in June had received both doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
Last week, Singaporean health officials publicly expressed concerns about risk reported with vaccines from China following hundreds of Indonesian health workers testing positive for Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine. Singapore is the latest country to cast doubt on the vaccine.
China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac shots have both been approved by the World Health Organization.