Updates on two COVID-19 stories related to China.

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, crucial information regarding the beginning of the pandemic has been withheld from WHO investigators during their visit to China. 

Identified information about the earliest illnesses that appeared to be related 2 SARS Co V2 infection was withheld and not provided to the WHO. This meant that the WHL could not verify that these were not in fact cases of COVID-19 that occurred more than a year before China says their first initial case was identified on December 8, 2019.

WHO director and Chinese premier together.

This makes it impossible to determine at what exact point the virus jumped into humans from animals and continues to leave unclear the findings that individuals in other parts of the world, including Europe, were found to have been infected with the virus in early to late 2019. Having this information would be very important to understand the kinetics of COVID-19 infection spread across the world.

In contrast, China seems more than happy to share its coronavirus vaccine around the world. 

Some European governments are turning to China for Covid-19 vaccines, in no small part because of E.U. stumbles in supplying vaccine. A large part of this supply problem was created by AstraZeneca’s production failures, since it was to be a major source of vaccine for the E.U.

This reliance on China’s vaccine could alter the balance of power in the region as China portrays itself as a reliable ally in fighting COVID-19.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn addresses a press conference amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, on October 8, 2020 in Berlin. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / various sources / AFP)

Vaccine shortages have been the worst in small, non-E.U. countries in Europe that have turned to Beijing for vaccine. As E.U. frustrations mount, however, all members are now considering purchasing China’s two vaccines and another developed in RussiaAccording to the WSJ, on Jan. 31, German Health Minister Jens Spahn called on the E.U. to approve the shot made by China’s Sinopharm Group, if it is found to be safe and effective. Then, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the company should manufacture its shots in his country.

The irony of the country where the pandemic started profiting off a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 should not be overlooked….

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

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