At least 17 countries have purchased China-produced COVID-19 vaccines
Published: Jan 14, 2021 09:24 PM

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca receives a dose of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 13, 2021. (Xinhua)

More countries announced they would purchase China's COVID-19 vaccines or start mass inoculations using them, as senior officials of various countries stressed the safety of the Chinese vaccines despite some Western media questioning their efficacy and safety.

Senior officials of countries including Turkey, the Philippines and Indonesia have either televised the use of Chinese vaccines or stressed their safety.

Turkey on Thursday decided to start mass inoculation using Chinese producer Sinovac's inactivated COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac starting with health workers, after local drug and medical equipment body approved the CoronaVac for emergency use on Wednesday, local media reported. 

Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca received the first dose of the CoronaVac vaccine live on television on Wednesday, becoming the first person in Turkey to receive the vaccine. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan received first dose of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac on Thursday. More than 250,000 Turkish people have been vaccinated in Turkey so far. 

Turkey has agreed to purchase 50 million doses of CoronaVac vaccine and has received delivery of an initial 3 million doses, Reuters reported.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the first dose of CoronaVac on Wednesday live on television. 

Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday that Indonesia already began mass vaccinations on Wednesday, thanks to good collaboration with China. 

He expressed his confidence in the Chinese vaccine, noting that Sinovac's vaccine received a license from Indonesian authorities after scientific and technical evaluation.

"Indonesia's trust and confidence in Sinovac's vaccine is reflected in Widodo being the first to receive a shot. We share President Widodo's sentiments," the ambassador said.

Jordan launched its vaccination campaign on Wednesday with China's Sinopharm's vaccine. Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh and several other members of the government have received Sinopharm's doses previously.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also praised Chinese-made vaccines, saying they are as good as the shots developed by the Americans and the Europeans, Reuters reported.

Duterte said in a late-night televised address on Wednesday that "the Chinese are bright. They would not venture (into producing vaccines) if it is not safe, sure and secure." He was responding to questions about the level of protection Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine can provide.

More countries this week moved ahead with purchasing Chinese COVID-19 vaccines.

Algeria decided to purchase Chinese vaccine, and the first batch will arrive at the end of this month, according to China Central Television. The Global Times learned from Sinovac that Algerian representatives have visited the company.

Ukraine signed an agreement on Monday with Sinovac to purchase 5 million doses of CoronaVac vaccine, which became the only supplier to Ukraine so far.

At least 17 countries have purchased COVID-19 vaccines developed by Chinese developers including Sinovac, Sinopharm and Cansino, according to the Global Times calculation.

Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine had an overall efficacy of 50.4 percent in Brazil's final-stage trials, and experts said the overall result is good enough considering almost all the trial participants in Brazil were high-risk medical workers, and the 77.96 efficacy for mild-case protection means the vaccine will reduce the amount of people needing hospitalization by 78 percent.