China And Russia Want To Be Vaccine Leaders. How’s That Going?

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The Sinovac vaccine is produced at this newly built factory in China. Sinovac is one of 11 Chinese companies carrying out clinical trials of potential coronavirus vaccines.

Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

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Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

Goats and Soda
Argentina Takes A Shot With Russia’s Sputnik Vaccine

«They’re very deliberately invoking imagery of Russia reemerging as a great power status,» Twigg says. «‘We’re back. We’re at the scientific and technological top of the world.'»

Almost immediately Russia started courting interest in their vaccine from other countries.

«The problem there was that they had not only barely started phase three clinical trials, they had barely started ramping up production,» Twigg says.

Now production has ramped up, says Twigg, and Russia is claiming that its vaccine is more than 90% effective, although data for that claim haven’t been published yet for others scientists to scrutinize.

Nonetheless, there are buyers. Argentina recently purchased 300,000 doses of Sputnik V, apparently at a very favorable price.

«[Russia] said, ‘Let’s see if we can get some sort of international caché out of being a donor that’s finally sending some vaccine to a non-Western, non-northern hemisphere country,» says Twigg.

One thing is clear: The world is going to need a number of vaccines to work if the global pandemic is really to be brought under control. That’s why many eyes are trained on the Chinese and Russian candidates.

  • COVID-19 vaccine
  • pandemic
  • China
  • Russia

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