The Chinese embassy in Thailand says critics of the Chinese-made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine are undermining Beijing’s good intentions of helping Thailand fight the outbreak.
Writing on its Facebook account, the embassy said every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine which China has supplied to Thailand represents the friendship and sincerity which the Chinese government extends to the government and Thais in general.
The vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use and approved by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in Thailand, based on the results of the vaccine’s clinical trials, it said.
The developer of the Sinovac vaccine is studying new variants of the coronavirus and testing the vaccine on these mutated strains. It found the vaccine is effective in protecting against these strains as well, the embassy said.
It has also cited results of studies by the public health ministry of Chile and the Indonesian government in August which showed that Sinovac was 86% and 95% effective in those countries respectively in fighting mutated variants of the virus. This shows the Sinovac vaccine isn’t of low quality as claimed by some parties. “The Chinese embassy urges them to stop this serious wrongdoing (devaluing the Sinovac vaccine and misguiding the public about it),” the embassy said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai had expressed concerns over false information cited by the opposition in the no-confidence debate to “misguide” the public about the Sinovac vaccine. He was worried it would shatter Thai-Chinese relations, said Tanee Sangrat, spokesman for the ministry.
The minister said the vaccine was being administered in 39 countries around the world. “Those attempts to devalue the vaccine for personal gains have dealt a blow to Thailand’s good relations with a good friend,” said Mr Pramudwinai.
“Some of the information presented by the opposition about the quality of the Sinovac vaccine contained errors,” he added. The quality of the Sinovac vaccine was criticised when the opposition accused Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of mismanaging vaccine procurements.