US says unlikely to use China, Russia virus vaccine as race heats up

US says unlikely to use China, Russia virus vaccine as race heats up

The top official of America’s infectious diseases raised questions about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines being produced by China and Russia as the planet scrambles for decades to be felt for answers to a pandemic cautioned by the WHO. Six months after the World Health Organization announced a global emergency, according to an AFP report the novel coronavirus has killed at least 679,000 people and infected at least 17.9 million.

When countries in Western Europe declared new lockdowns and reported unprecedented economic slumps, the United Nations health agency said the pandemic was a “once-in-a-century” epidemic and its consequences will be felt for decades. Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the race to build an immunity to the disease and Russia has set a September target date for carrying out its own vaccine.

But American infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said his country would be unlikely to use any vaccine produced in either country, where regulatory systems are far more opaque than they are in the West. “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone,” he told a US Congressional hearing on Friday. As part of its own “Operation Warp Speed,” the US government will pay pharma giants Sanofi and GSK up to $2.1 billion for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, the companies said. “Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing, I think, is problematic, at best.”