In a remarkable candid comment, director Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted on Saturday the fairly low efficiency of one of the larger Chinese vaccines Sinovac Biotech, even lower than 50%, according to Reuters. Even before that, leading expert Zhang Wenhong estimated China could only open up to international travel by the Spring of 2022.
Different strategies are being discussed now for vaccinating China’s citizens with a higher success rate, like mixing different vaccines or even deploying foreign vaccines like Pfizer or Moderna. But a clear vaccination strategy seems to be lacking at this stage.
In any case, resuming international travel might be later than Zhang Wenhong estimated last week. But as a firm vaccination strategy is now lacking, any timing might a further away than early 2022.
China has been relatively efficient in containing the coronavirus – after an admittedly messy start of its spread in Wuhan in 2020. Unlike other countries, that have been harder hit, developing an efficient vaccine has been less urgent.