[Photo/Agencies]

When COVID-19 vaccines were still being developed, Western media said that China lagged behind in the “vaccine race” and cast doubts on when, even whether, China would be able to produce them.

Now that China has approved its first vaccine for general use, with others on the way, Western media have tried to cast doubts on their safety. That was rebutted by Zeng Yixin, deputy head of China’s National Health Commission, at a News conference on Jan 9. He said that more than 7.5 million doses of the vaccine had been administered to “key groups” since Dec 15, in addition to the 1.6 million doses that had been administered to “high-risk groups” by the end of November, and fewer than 0.1 percent of those inoculated developed a light fever, and about two people per million developed an adverse response such as an allergic reaction.

Chinese COVID-19 vaccines are a good public product and have been welcomed by countries around the world. Indonesia will reportedly commence a mass inoculation program using a vaccine produced by the Chinese manufacturer Sinovac Biotech on Wednesday, with President Joko Widodo the first to be vaccinated.

Thailand has also announced it is buying 2 million doses of the vaccine, which is known as CoronaVac, with the first batch due to arrive in the country by the end of February.

Morocco has reportedly ordered 10 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, and Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb reported “very positive” results from clinical trials of the vaccine on Moroccan volunteers even before it was put on the market in China. Similar clinical trials in Turkey have also shown very good results.

The efficacy and safety of the Chinese vaccines have been demonstrated through such trials. About 4.5 million people, including volunteers from 128 countries, have received injections of COVID-19 vaccines made in China. None of them has suffered any severe adverse reaction.

Last but no less important, Chinese-made vaccines are relatively inexpensive and easy to transport without requiring very low temperatures. Wherever ice cream can arrive, the Chinese vaccines can also arrive.

Moreover, China joined COVAX, a global alliance backed by the World Health Organization that aims to ensure the world’s poorest countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines, in October 2020. China has signed agreements with many countries to provide materials for them, so that these countries can produce the vaccines domestically.

China is rendering the greatest efforts to help ensure countries have access to COVID-19 vaccines, and it is always open to international cooperation.

The scaremongering by the Western media about China’s vaccines is both absurd and unsavory.