How well are China’s vaccines working?

China is exporting two vaccines, and although they’re less effective than the gold standard vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, they do work. Sinopharm is 78% effective and Sinovac is somewhere between 50% and 78%. I’m not sure why the range is so large there. Sorry. And while I’m apologizing, apologies for not having a link on this. It’s from an email newsletter the New York Times sends out. It usually has links. Maybe I’m being particularly dense today.

There’ve been questions about the vaccines, especially after vaccinated people in the Seychelles became infected, but they do seem to be useful. In the Seychelles, when vaccinated people got Covid they had mild cases and recovered at home. It’s not what we’d all hope for, but it’s a lot better than being hospitalized. Or dying. China says it can make 5 billion doses a year. The U.S. has promised to donate 500 million doses of other vaccines (I don’t think they’ve specified which) to poorer countries. Britain has promised 100 million. 

The world’s population–since this is relevant to the discussion–is 7.6 billion. Or it was in 2019. I haven’t counted it since. I did try last month but I lost track somewhere around 5 billion and didn’t have the heart to start over. The vaccine rollout in poorer countries is beyond dismal. The vaccines are going to rich countries and poor ones just can’t get them.

So weigh 600 million against 5 billion, then weigh both of those against the number of countries that can’t get hold of any useful amount of vaccine and it makes the two Sino- vaccines appealing. 

Irrelevant photo: a rose

Not much is known yet about how well they protect against the variants. There seems to be some reduction against the Beta and Gamma variants, but that’s still not solidly established. 

China, having gotten off to a slow start in vaccinating its population, is now working at high speed. 

I had links for all that and have succeeded in losing them. Apologies.


Early reports are that mixing vaccines–I think they were playing mix-and-match with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca, although the Moderna might have slipped in as well–may make them more effective, and Canada and a few European countries have started doing that. 


How times have changed

To boost the number of people getting vaccinated, Washington State is allowing marijuana retailers to offer a free joint to anyone who can show proof that they’ve had either their first shot or second shot. Or both at once. What the hell. If the stuff they’re offering is strong enough, who can count that high?

It also allows other businesses to offer a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of wine. Arizona and New Jersey have done similar things. Other states are running lotteries.

What are they up against in their effort to promote the vaccine? People who think getting vaccinated will cause keys to stick to their faces and forks to–

I stopped listening right about there, so I’m not sure where the forks stick. I’ve heard of food that sticks to your ribs, but we seem to have entered new territory here.  

Whether or not you’ve been vaccinated, plastic forks will not attack you. Covid restrictions allowing, you can go back to the food courts.

Antiviral drug update

If an antiviral drug that’s in late-stage testing works–and that’s not guaranteed–it could stop a Covid infection in its early stages. It could be available by the end of 2021–again, if it works.

With all those coulds in there, that sentence has a lot of wiggle room. Still, as everything we read lately says repeatedly, it could (there’s that word again) be a game changer. 

Cards? Jenga? A football team crashing through the front door and out the back?

The drug is one of several attempts to tackle Covid by treating the infection rather than vaccinating people, so let’s not bother to name this particular one and instead hope one of them comes through. Even the people weren’t cranking themselves up to be afraid of flying forks might accept this.

Or possibly not. It’s gotten so crazy out there that I’ve given up trying to predict where we’re headed.

36 thoughts on “How well are China’s vaccines working?

  1. Damn right it’s crazy. Free joint for a vaccine? Free wine? Lottery? Imagine reading something like this in a dystopian (hell, utopian, it’s free!) novel some years ago and cringing? These teases to make people vaccinate say so much about a country. And no matter at what stupid idea we may scoff, in a country near – or far – it’s becoming reality.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s sad that people need to be bribed–or at least that we think they do–to take care of themselves and others. On the other hand, I’m at a point where I don’t care what works, let’s just do it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The lottery really blew my mind. Maryland has one. Gaaaaaah, taxpayer funded, of course. Donuts were kind of celebratory and could be had in a drive through, so I thought that was kind of funny. But so many people still think that it doesn’t exist; it was the flu; the vaccines will chip, magnetize, or kill you–that if these people can be bribed, I’m for it, though…a host of uncharitable thoughts intervened, best unvoiced, loosely related to natural selection. I was really ticked earlier in the year when everyone was talking about vaccine hesitancy before people who wanted the vaccine could get access–so I do hope that more countries push this out to the rest of the world double quick. Is the G7 anywhere near you?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The G7’s less than an hour’s drive from here. (A friend, years ago, told me the British don’t measure distance in terms of time, but I figure that’s their loss.) We’re not affected, but closer to it, I understand, it’s a mess. Of course. How could it not be?

      Some time ago, I read that if you want public health messages to work, you focus on the people who’ll go along with it, not on the ones who won’t. It creates a sense that everyone’s behind it and that’ll sway a lot of people. That may not be 600% honest, but if it’s effective, I’d go with it. Instead, everyone seems to be amplifying the naysayers. Give ’em a donut, I say, and while they’re busy eating, get your message across.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. My first shot was AZ and we’re not getting any more of that apparently, but the pharmacist yesterday told me I could get Moderna for a second shot. So happy because it means I’ll never lose my keys.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohio has the Vax-a-Million lottery, but is also offering free full ride scholarships-tuition-books-room& board – the whole deal -to any state university. (Even the ones with mediocre football teams, like the ones I attended are considered pretty good schools.
    A Johnsons & Johnson plant in Baltimore has had to scrap a lot of contaminated doses – link enclosed so it doesn’t get more alarming than it ought to be,
    Sounds like the G-7 made some progress in advancing the distribution of more vaccines where needed.
    Hope the local kerfluffle doesn’t bring any problems to your area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re far enough away to have been kerfuffleless, thanks. I’ll check out the link a bit later. And oh, do I wish they’d offer free higher education to everyone outside of pandemic years. One of our godkids is sweating bullets getting herself through grad school. It costs a damn fortune!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. How I laughed at the very serious lady from Ohio (an “expert” apparently) who was going on about keys sticking to her neck/arm whatever. Keys are made of brass and wouldn’t stick to her if she was a MRI machine. What got me was the the deadpan audience behind her. Not a single smirk. Very odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Our granddaughter’s favorite saying in her vocabulary expansion is “Oh, noooooo…”
    That’s kind of how I feel about the vaccine dilemmas.
    Thanks for the info on Chinese efforts. I hadn’t seen anything about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Someone paid for a study that found that infection rates are going down in areas where a large number of people have been vaccinated, and staying high in areas where fewer people have been vaccinated. I hope the premise wasn’t as stupid as it sounds

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes investigating the obvious is necessary to convince people that it’s obvious. There’ve been some studies of masks–do they reduce transmission, how, how much, etc. The answers seem obvious, but without data it’s just the convinced being convinced.

      Liked by 1 person

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