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Imran Khan ‘personally looking into’ Chinese vaccine’s non-acceptance in Middle East

INTERNATIONAL DESK: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is “personally looking into” Chinese COVID-19 vaccine’s non-acceptance in Saudi Arabia and some other countries in the Middle East, said the country’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on June 6, the minister said, “[The PM] has also told the cabinet that he is in touch with the (Middle Eastern) countries concerned in this regard.”

“Sinopharm is a great vaccine and I salute the Chinese’ cooperation in this regard,” he said, as quoted by The Express Tribune.

Last month, the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese company received an emergency use listing by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).

Despite the approval from WHO, some concern over the efficacy and effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine still remains at large.

Marking a rare admission from China over the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine, the country’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in April had said that the efficacy of Chinese coronavirus vaccines is “not high” and they may require improvements, The Washington Post reported.

China CDC Director George Gao had said that China is “formally considering” options to change its vaccines to “solve the problem that the efficacy of the existing vaccines is not high”.

Soon after Gao’s remarks went out in public, words started spreading quickly through Chinese social media before being mostly censored. Beijing, however, refuted the remarks by Gao and said that his statement was taken out of context.

Beijing has provided COVID-19 vaccines as public goods by offering medical assistance to 80 countries, exporting vaccines to 43 countries and supplying 300 million doses of vaccines worldwide, informed China’s national health commission on Thursday.

Earlier this week, WHO validated CoronaVac, the second COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical company, for emergency use. (ANI)

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