OPINION / EDITORIAL
Not easy for US to realize ‘overtake on the bend’ in pandemic fight: Global Times editorial
Published: May 08, 2021 05:23 PM
oxes of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine are distributed to family doctors for vaccination in Kecskemet, Hungary on Feb. 24, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

Boxes of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine are distributed to family doctors for vaccination in Kecskemet, Hungary on Feb. 24, 2021. Photo: Xinhua


 
The World Health Organization on Friday approved China's Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. This has frustrated those who trumpet that the US is on track to overtake China in the fight against the pandemic. Given a severe domestic epidemic situation and fierce vaccine nationalism, the US technological advantages cannot be quickly unleashed, and China has maintained its lead in comprehensive capabilities.   

China has curbed the epidemic without the help of vaccines. It has also been at the forefront of vaccine research and development and has the capabilities to expand vaccine production capacity explosively. China has been able to expand the scope of vaccination at home while at the same time exporting large quantities of vaccines to the world. Adding the number of domestic vaccinations and that of exported ones, the figure is approximately 500 million, about twice that of the US. China is undoubtedly far ahead of other countries. 

It's true that China's current vaccination rate is lower than that of the US and some other countries. But the country's epidemic prevention and control capabilities have made up for this. The Chinese society is in general at ease with the speed of vaccination and has the confidence for next winter. This has allowed China to distribute a large number of vaccines to other developing countries that are in urgent need of vaccines.     

This cannot be done by simply having good wishes or technology. The US has advanced technology, but so far it has hardly exported locally produced vaccines. India was once ambitious, but the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 has brought its vaccine exports to a halt. Only China has maintained stable domestic prevention and control, vaccination and vaccine exports. 

WHO's endorsement of Sinopharm's vaccine represents a world-level recognition. It's all about the vaccine itself, and has nothing to do with politics. But the fact that Chinese vaccines can be at the forefront of the global pandemic fight is because of the support of the Chinese system. This point will eventually become clearer to the world. The Western public opinion, led by the US, has done a lot to discredit China's pandemic fight and disparage its vaccines. But China has been able to tamp down the new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases to zero and China-produced vaccines have become worldwide popular. Facts speak louder than words. The US and Western public opinion's smears are becoming increasingly pale.  

The pandemic fight is far from over. With the virus mutating, new situations have emerged one after another. There are still many tough battles ahead. A public health war of such a scale cannot be easily won by a single method. For all countries, it's destined to be a war of all people and one that requires a comprehensive use of different methods.     

China has realized a high degree of national mobilization and has employed various means to fight the pandemic. This has made the most populous country in the world a fortress that cannot be shattered by the virus, leading it to become the world's largest supply base of anti-pandemic materials. We will continue to unleash our advantages in the future. Nothing can replace China's contribution to the global pandemic fight. 

The pandemic presents itself as a test to comprehensive strength. It's hard for any country to realize an "overtake on the bend." The US political elites are too impatient and unwilling to be practical and realistic. They think they can win once the US' vaccination rate goes up. However, it's not that easy.   

There have been almost no improvements in the US public health system after the country lost nearly 600,000 lives. The system is still fragile facing future risks. Therefore, Washington dares not export vaccines and raw materials. Only by holding these things in hands, can Washington feel at ease. As long as its various domestic loopholes exist, the US is unlikely to be a true leader in the global pandemic fight. 

The coronavirus has posed a comprehensive challenge to human beings. If countries don't treat this challenge seriously and conduct necessary reforms, the effective anti-epidemic results they achieved could be only a flash in the pan. India's miring in the new wave has laid this point bare.  


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