Brazil calls China ‘opaque’ in approving emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine

Brazil’s health regulator, Anvisa, said Chinese health authorities had been “opaque” in approving emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines.

Anvisa said in a statement On Monday: “Since June of this year, Kelsupple has been granted emergency use authorization in China. China’s criteria for granting emergency use authorizations are not transparent, and information about the criteria on which China’s decisions are based is not available.”

The inactivated vaccine, developed by Sinovac, has been being tested by Brazil’s Butantan Institute, a research centre backed by the Sao Paulo state government.

Joao Doria, the governor of The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, said the results of the phase III trial would be released on Dec. 23 and he hoped his state would start vaccinating the vaccine on Jan. 25.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro, who has been critical of China, has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the vaccine, saying its “origin” makes it untrustworthy, Reuters reported.

China has not made public details of how it will determine whether a COVID-19 vaccine meets emergency conditions, the report said. China’s National Health Commission also didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The report also said a Sinovac representative declined to comment but referred to a news conference in October. Zheng Zhongwei, director of the National Health Commission’s Science and Technology Development Center, said at the meeting: “The launch of the emergency vaccine has gone through a series of rigorous tests and reviews, and it has also met the who rules.”

“The emergency use of the vaccine is strictly in accordance with the relevant regulations, all the animal tests, clinical phase I and II trials have been completed, and the phase I and II trials have achieved very good safety indicators and immunogenicity indicators,” he added.

Responding to questions about vaccines, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Tuesday that China has always attached great importance to the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Chinese vaccine research and development enterprises also promote vaccine research and development in accordance with laws and regulations in strict accordance with scientific laws and regulatory requirements, and carry out international cooperation in strict accordance with international norms and relevant laws and regulations.

He added: “The vaccine cooperation between China and Pakistan has generally been relatively smooth. I have noticed that the Brazilian partner of the Chinese vaccine company has expressed confidence in the Chinese vaccine. We are ready to work with other countries to actively promote cooperation in vaccine research and development, make positive contributions to the realization of global access and affordability of vaccines, especially in developing countries, and defeat the epidemic at an early date.”