Top disease control official in China admits its vaccines are less effective, then gets rebuked by central government

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Gao Fu. Credit: China CDC
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Gao Fu. Credit: China CDC

China has distributed hundreds of millions of doses of domestically made vaccines abroad and is relying on them for its own mass immunization campaign. 

But the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said at a conference [April 10] their efficacy rates needed improving.

“We will solve the issue that current vaccines don’t have very high protection rates,” Gao said in a presentation on Chinese COVID-19 vaccines and immunization strategies at a conference in the southwestern city of Chengdu. “It’s now under consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines for the immunization process.”

He also praised the benefits of mRNA vaccines, the technology behind the two vaccines seen as the most effective, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, months after questioning whether the then-unproven method was safe.

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In a message to The Associated Press, Gao said [April 11] he was speaking about the effectiveness rates for “vaccines in the world, not particularly for China.” He did not respond to further questions about which vaccines he was referring to.

He directed the AP to an interview he did with the state-owned Global Times, which has published several articles raising doubts about the safety of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.

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