Why Are Effective and Inexpensive Chinese and Russian Vaccines Unavailable in Much of the West?

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Sputnik V vaccine 673c9

In 2016, I attended an information session about First Nations in Lax Kxeen (colonial designation Prince Rupert), [1] “BC.” During a break, I conversed with some fellow attendees. They expressed skepticism to colonial provincial authorities being behind the intentional spreading of smallpox among First Nations people [2] and that a vaccine was withheld from infected Indigenous individuals. The attendees insisted that there was no vaccine at that time for smallpox.

Yet, the English doctor Edward Jenner is celebrated for having discovered the smallpox vaccine in 1796. This is the predominant western account on the origin of the smallpox vaccination.

It is also recorded that inoculation against smallpox was already being practiced in Sichuan province by Taoist alchemists in the 10th century CE. [3] The Chinese inoculators administered dead or attenuated smallpox collected from less virulent scabs, which were inserted into the nose on a plug of cotton. Inoculation may also have been practiced much earlier by the Chinese — some sources cite dates as early as 200 BCE.

China obviously has a historical background in strengthening the immune response of people. Yet, in the western media, one seldom reads or hears about the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines. Neither were we well informed about the effectiveness of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine — that was until recently, when some western nations have been coming up short on vaccine supplies. The Canadian government has been scrambling to meet the demand for vaccines since Pfizer shipments were held up. The focus of western state and corporate media seemed clearly on procuring supplies of the Pfizer (US), Moderna (US), and AstraZeneca (UK-Sweden) vaccines. This is despite  effective, but less heralded, Russian and Chinese vaccines being available and at a more affordable price. South Korea’s Arirang News reported Russian test results that “its second COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective.” CBC.ca found this success problematic; it depicted a political quandary in considering a Russian vaccine: “At first dismissed and ridiculed by Western countries, Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has not only been rehabilitated; it’s emerging as a powerful tool of influence abroad for President Vladimir Putin.” France 24 concurred, hailing it as “a scientific and political victory for Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

Would Canada refuse to consider securing vaccines from Russia to safeguard the health of Canadians to avoid granting Putin, derided by Canadian magazine Macleans as a “new Stalin,” a political victory? Why shouldn’t Russia be lauded for coming up first with a working and effective vaccine? What does it matter if the leader of that country receives recognition? Shouldn’t the national priority be obtaining the best vaccine to protect the health of citizens?

Medical data aside, western mass media has, apparently, been effective in stirring up a distrust of COVID-19 vaccines from China and Russia in comparison to western vaccines, as revealed in a YouGov poll of almost 19,000 people worldwide.

Hungary has been mildly criticized for going its own way in ordering the Russian vaccine. Hungary’s foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, had no qualms and defended Budapest’s decision to buy two million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

The Czech Republic is also considering following Hungary in using Russian and Chinese vaccines that are still pending approval by the European Union.

Huge Potential Profits in Vaccines

Investigative journalist Matt Tabibi pointed out,

What Americans need to understand about the race to find vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 is that in the U.S., … the production of pharmaceutical drugs is still a nearly riskless, subsidy-laden scam.

The World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus strongly criticized big pharma for profiteering and vaccine inequalities. Adhanom charged that younger, healthier adults in wealthy countries were being prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19 before older people or health care workers in poorer countries and that markets were sought to maximize profitability.

In chapter VII of the e-book The 2020 Worldwide Corona Crisis: Destroying Civil Society, Engineered Economic Depression, Global Coup d’État and the “Great Reset” (December 2020, revised January 2021), professor Michel Chossudovsky writes:

The plan to develop the Covid-19 vaccine is profit driven.

The US government had already ordered 100 million doses back in July 2020 and the EU is to purchase 300 million doses. It’s Big Money for Big Pharma, generous payoffs to corrupt politicians, at the expense of tax payers.

The objective is ultimately to make money, by vaccinating the entire planet of 7.8 billion people for SARS-CoV-2….

The Covid vaccine is a multibillion dollar Big Pharma operation which will contribute to increasing the public debt of more than 150 national governments.

Imagine, if those thousands of people stay home, reduce contact with others, they may have survived the pandemic. [4]

Chossudovsky also questions the safety of the rushed testing and the need for a vaccine given that the WHO and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both confirmed that Covid-19 is “similar to seasonal influenza.” [5]

Some Safety Concerns about Vaccines

A report raised alarm about at least 36 people who developed a rare, lethal blood disorder, called thrombocytopenia, after receiving either of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines in the US. A Miami obstetrician, Gregory Michael, just 56, died of a brain hemorrhage just 16 days after receiving a Pfizer vaccination. His thrombocytopenia had caused his platelets to drop to virtually zero.

A Johns Hopkins University expert on blood disorders, Jerry L. Spivak, who was uninvolved in Michael’s care, said that based on Michael’s wife’s description: “I think it is a medical certainty that the vaccine was related [to Michael’s death].”

In Israel, at least three people suffered Bell’s palsy, facial paralysis, after receiving the vaccine. Data from Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials revealed seven COVID-19 participants had experienced Bell’s palsy in the weeks following vaccination.

In Norway, at least 23 people who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine died. According to authorities, thirteen of the fatalities were associated to the vaccine’s side effects. In addition, 10 deaths shortly following vaccination were being probed in Germany.

Pfizer and Moderna use a novel vaccine based on mRNA. Following the deaths in Norway, Chinese health experts called for caution and the suspension of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, especially for elderly people.

Regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC reported the administration of over 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the US from 14 December 2020 through 7 February 2021. During this time, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System received 1,170 reports of death (0.003%) among people vaccinated for COVID-19. Based on the extremely low figure, the CDC advised people that “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective” and “to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible.”

Yet, it seems some Europeans distrust their own government-approved Covid-19 vaccines. A black market has arisen; two doses of unapproved Chinese vaccines have reportedly sold for as high as 7,000 yuan (£800) — almost 20 times the reported usual price.

Vaccine makers, Sinopharm and Sinovac, cautioned the public not to buy the vaccines online.

Chinese Vaccines and Profit-seeking

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been magnanimous with what could be an extremely profitable property. Said Xi, “China is willing to strengthen cooperation with other countries in the research and development, production, and distribution of vaccines,”

“We will fulfill our commitments, offer help and support to other developing countries, and work hard to make vaccines a public good that citizens of all countries can use and can afford.”

Imagine that: making an in-demand product available as a “pubic good” instead of taking advantage of a seemingly dire situation to rake in huge profits. Africa, for one, is benefiting.

Back in October 2020, Fortune.com proclaimed in its headline: “World’s vaccine testing ground deems Chinese COVID candidate ‘the safest, most promising.’” The tests conducted in Brazil were large, human trials of the COVID-19 vaccines that included Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm.

São Paulo Governor João Doria said,

The first results of the clinical study conducted in Brazil prove that among all the vaccines tested in the country, CoronaVac from Chinese developer Sinovacis the safest, the one with the best and most promising rates.

On 3 February 2021, the peer-review medical journal, The Lancet, published a study by Wu et al. who spoke to the urgent need for a vaccine against COVID-19 for the elderly. Their study found that the Chinese CoronaVac, containing inactivated SARS-CoV-2, is safe and well tolerated by the elderly.

Journalist Wei Ling Chua, who follows closely how events involving China are portrayed and perceived elsewhere, asked in an email on 12 February 2021:

1) till this date, there is no report of a single death or hospitalisation after taking China vaccine

2) unlike the capitalist west, China vaccine companies did not require nations to excuse them from legal liability from side effects.

Despite, western nations acknowledging many having died soon after taking the vaccine, they all claim that after investigation the cause of death not related to vaccine. But, why does death happen so soon after taking the vaccine?

Why following administration of a Chinese vaccine are there no reports of people dying soon afterwards?

Closing Comments

This essay does not explore the necessity for vaccination against COVID-19. Indeed, there are grounds to be skeptical of the necessity for all people to be vaccinated. However, if COVID-19 is genuinely an urgent health issue, [6] then why would governments play politics with the health of their populace?

*(Top image: Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine rollout. Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer/ Flickr)

ENDNOTES

  1. The city’s name is an eponym for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a European elitist who never set foot on the Pacific coast. For the Ts’msyen: “Place names are usually rooted in the natural world and the land they refer to.” See Kenneth Campbell, Persistence and Change: A History of the Ts’msyen Nation (Prince Rupert, [sic] BC: First Nation Educational Council, 2005): 10. Author Kenneth Campbell commented, “By writing and saying the name name in Sm’algyax [the Ts’msyen language], both the language and the people are honored.” (p. 10)
  2. Tom Swanky, The Great Darkening: The True Story of Canada’s “War” of Extermination on the Pacific plus The Tsilhqot’in and other First Nations Resistance (Burnaby, BC: Dragon Heart Enterprises, 2012). See also an interview with Tom Swanky.
  3. Robert Temple, The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention (London: Prion Books, 2002): 135-137.
  4. Click on the following link to access the complete E-book consisting of a Preface, Highlights and Nine Chapters.
  5. For more on “the absolute and relative ‘flu-like’ risk of death from a SARS-CoV-2 infection” see “Review of calculated SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality rates: Good CDC science versus dubious CDC science, the actual risk that does not justify the ‘cure’ – By Prof Joseph Audie,” ResearchGate.
  6. Even about this be skeptical; research and inform yourself; and draw your own conclusions.

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