An experiment of nature

China is unintentionally undertaking an experiment which would never get past an institutional review board.  We are about to see how effective their vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm actually are versus the Delta variant of the pandemic virus.

Consider the following two direct quotes from Fortune 5 August,

l. “As of Wednesday, China has recorded nearly 500 cases in the past two weeks across 18 different provinces stemming from an outbreak in the southern Chinese city of Nanjing. The outbreak started after airport workers contracted the Delta variant of COVID-19 while cleaning an airplane arriving from Russia on July 20, ”  From Fortune 5 August,

2. “China has now delivered over 1.7 billion vaccine shots domestically, nearly five times as many as the U.S. The total is enough to fully vaccinate 60% of China’s 1.4 billion citizens, and vaccine coverage of adults in major urban centers like Beijing and Shanghai is over 91% and 85%, respectively.

For its campaign, China has largely relied on inactivated COVID-19 vaccines from private firm Sinovac and state-owned manufacturer Sinopharm.”

There are similar quotes from the BBC and from the South China Morning Post.  Depending on who you read the Delta virus is in 12 – 24 Chinese cities. We are about to find out just how protective the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines really are. The results in Beijing and Shanghai where Delta is actually present and vaccination rates are high will be particularly important.

There is one proviso, of course.

The proviso is that the government of China manages information very carefully.  Will we actually told the extent of the spread, hospitalizations and deaths?

Example #1: From the South China Morning Post   —

China flood survivors tell of rising water and last goodbyes as disaster claims at least 25 lives and displaces thousands

  • Passengers were trapped in subway trains in Zhengzhou, some struggling to reach rescuers and others sending what they feared were final words to loved ones
  • Survivors sharing their stories on Weibo are told to remove them to avoid being ‘manipulated by hostile foreign forces’, while photos and videos are deleted

Example #2 :

Zhang was a blogger in Wuhan during the first wave of the epidemic in 2020.  She just described what was going on.

” Zhang Zhan, a 37-year-old former lawyer and citizen journalist who was arrested in May while reporting from Wuhan, has been sentenced to four years in jail.


Zhang was arrested for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” – an accusation commonly used against dissidents, activists and journalists – with her video and blog reports from the Wuhan lockdown. Last month she was charged with disseminating false information.



Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: