OPINION / OBSERVER
To prove pre-set conclusion on Chinese vaccines, NYT report selectively blind on facts
Published: Jun 24, 2021 11:59 PM
Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: VCG

Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: VCG

A New York Times article has maliciously distorted scientific facts in a bid to slander China's coronavirus vaccines.

In the report entitled, "They Relied on Chinese Vaccines. Now They're Battling Outbreaks," published on Tuesday, the article intended to suggest that "Chinese vaccines may not be very effective at preventing the spread of the virus" by exploiting a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Seychelles, Chile, Bahrain, and Mongolia after inoculating their citizens with China's vaccines.

However, the report is biased on selective comparisons and seeking to create a straw man. 

According to experts specializing in the vaccine, a scientific approach to measure whether a vaccine is effective or not is to compare the people who get infected, become ill and show severe symptoms after being vaccinated with those who have similar situations but have not been vaccinated yet.

But in the NYT report, its subjective allegations were merely based on two ambiguous facts - 50 to 68 percent of people in the Seychelles, Chile, Bahrain and Mongolia have been fully inoculated; and "all four ranked among the top 10 countries with the worst COVID-19 outbreaks as recently as last week," but without any scientific evidence which can stand up to the test.

Many factors can affect the infection rate after populations are vaccinated, including the exact time of being infected, which strain infected them, what public health prevention and control measures have been carried out in the country, its national physical fitness, nutritional status as well as age composition. It is not rigorous or scientific to evaluate the quality of a vaccine simply by mentioning the number of people infected after vaccination.

The article was seeking to prove the reporter's pre-set assumptions with shady "evidence." It deliberately excluded all the important factors and only intended to underline the "problems" of China's vaccines.

The narrative of the article that the "surge in [COVID-19] infections" in Bahrain, Chile and Mongolia indicate that China's vaccines may not be valid is also questionable. Regardless of what kind of variants have infected people in these countries, how much prevention and control measures have been taken and the state of national physical fitness, the report was anxious to blame the surge of cases in these countries on the ineffectiveness of China's vaccines.

Israel,a country where a large proportion of its population is vaccinated with the Pfizer/BNT COVID-19 vaccine, also witnessed a surge of new virus cases. In the UK, more than 60 percent of adults have received two shots, and they have never been vaccinated with China's vaccines. But a surge in cases of the delta variant also hit the country. Is the surge in cases in Israel and Britain also because their vaccines are "not effective"?

The report even induced interviewed experts to absurdly say, "A major risk with Chinese inoculations is that vaccinated people may have few or no symptoms and still spread the virus to others." By doing so, the reporter clearly hopes to prevent all countries across the world from using China' vaccines which lead to such "dangerous results." It implies that they should just wait in line for Western vaccines like BNT, which are expensive and have a high shipping barrier.

A netizen post data released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the US - A total of 10,262 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infections have been reported from 46 US states and territories as of April 30. The netizen is to imply that NYT and the reporter are selectively blind.


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