Coronavirus | Anthony Fauci raises concern over Russian, Chinese vaccines

‘Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before testing is problematic’

Updated - August 02, 2020 01:48 am IST

Published - August 01, 2020 10:31 pm IST - Washington

Anthony Fauci

Anthony Fauci

America’s top infectious diseases official has raised concerns over COVID-19 vaccines being developed by China and Russia as the world scrambles for answers to a pandemic the WHO warned will be felt for decades.

Six months after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, COVID-19 has killed more than 6,80,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million, according to an AFP tally.

As countries across Western Europe announced new lockdowns and reported historic economic slumps, the UN health body said the pandemic was a “once-in-a-century” crisis.

September target date

Several Chinese companies are at the forefront of the race to develop a vaccine to the disease and Russia has set a target date of September to roll out its own medicine. But U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said it was unlikely his country would use any vaccine developed in either country, where regulatory systems are far more opaque than they are in the West. “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing the vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone,” he told a U.S. Congressional hearing on Friday. “Claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing, I think, is problematic, at best.” As part of its own “Operation Warp Speed,” the U.S. government will pay pharma giants Sanofi and GSK up to $2.1 billion for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, the companies said.

In East Asia, territories which saw success in tackling the early wave of COVID-19 are now confronting worrying new spikes.

Japan’s Okinawa declared a state of emergency Saturday after a record jump in cases on the island — many linked to U.S. military forces stationed there. Hong Kong opened a new makeshift hospital to house COVID-19 patients after cases rose to record highs.

In a sign of the trade-offs being forced on European governments, Britain imposed new lockdowns Friday on millions of households in northern England.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.