While the American press, British BBC and German DW have focused on Western vaccination rates, there has been nearly no notice that half of the world’s currently administered vaccinations have been by the Chinese SinoVac and SinoPharm vaccines.
Both of these vaccines are conventional vaccines using the attenuated coronavirus, just as the proven smallpox and Salk polio vaccines. Because China rapidly halted their initial transmissions through social isolation, as did Taiwan and South Korea, they lacked a test population and had to run their original drug effectiveness trials in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia where enough cases allowed a test. Those trials were done under an agreement to provide some vaccine to those countries that cooperated in testing.
Eventually, the town of Serrana in Brazil saw a 95% drop in Covid-19 deaths after a mass vaccination of 75% of its 45,000 adult population between February and April with the Chinese SinoVac vaccine.
Worldwide, China has delivered over 350 million doses of its vaccines to over 80 other countries worldwide. Along with its current homeland vaccinations, that adds up to half of the world’s current vaccinations.
Although it was possible to quarantine Chinese who tested positive last year, China’s new cases came from across borders and from arrivals via Beijing’s airport. And with new, more contagious strains now spreading in south China, countrywide vaccination is well underway. The science journal Nature reports that China is currently administering 20 million vaccinations per day to its own population.
As of this last week, China has already administered 1,280 million doses with 223 million fully vaccinated. For comparison, India comes in second with 336 million doses and 59 million having received the booster. The U.S. has administered 329 million doses with 156 million being fully vaccinated. Brazil was fourth with 103 million shots and 27 million fully covered. The United Kingdom has administered 78 million so far, with 33 million fully vaccinated.
As of June 2021, the World Health Organization had found the following vaccines against COVID-19 met their criteria for safety and effectiveness: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BionTech, SinoPharm and SinoVac.
On June 28, 2021, the journal Lancet published the study on “Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) in healthy children and adolescents” that found this vaccine safe and effective with healthy children from age 3 upward.
While the mRNA and viral vector vaccines present specific spike proteins to our immune system, the ongoing concern is whether the wild COVID-19 virus strains could evolve “out of the window” of vaccine protection. Although the two Chinese vaccines are harmless protein pieces (attenuated) and trigger a slightly lower immune response, there is the possibility that the virus will not evolve to evade this broader immunity.
There have been two general effects on education systems around the world. In South Korea, Taiwan, the China Mainland, Singapore, etc. the lockdown was relatively brief. Both K–12 and universities then returned to school that extended through the summer. Exit exams were postponed a month. However, much of the Western world lost most of the 2020 spring and 2020–2021 school year to remote or hybrid education, resulting in a massive learning shortfall that will persist for years.
The Asian valuing of education has likewise resulted in substantial changes in school scheduling, including adoption of a quasi-trimester system in some regions. While much of the summer is being utilized for regular schooling in Asia, Western countries appear to be prematurely breaking free from a year in isolation with only a small portion of schoolchildren enrolled in extra summer school.