Chinese and Russian vaccines remain unproven — but desperate countries plan to use them anyway
By Emily Rauhala, Eva Dou and Robyn Dixon
In the race to vaccinate the world, China and Russia appear headed to becoming international players, as countries buy up doses and push ahead with approvals even before the release of crucial trial data.
Although both countries’ coronavirus vaccine efforts were initially viewed with skepticism, a growing list of nations remains eager to work with Beijing and Moscow to slow the virus’s deadly spread.
Much of this has to do with scarcity. Rich countries have snapped up most of the early doses of the promising vaccines by U.S.-based Moderna and Pfizer, which is working with Germany’s BioNTech. A multilateral effort to equitably distribute doses is moving slowly. For some, China and Russia are the only immediate option.
It also reflects a growing sense that the Chinese and Russian vaccines show some scientific promise and could play a role in ending the pandemic — even as questions about safety and transparency persist.