KEY POINTS

  • Countries that administered China's CoronaVac vaccine are now facing a surge in COVID-19 infections
  • Some experts claimed the problem largely lies in the Chinese-made vaccines  
  • Scientists hypothesized that the vaccines from China may not be that effective in containing the virus

A number of countries are experiencing a new surge of COVID-19 infections despite having administered at least one dose of vaccine to a large chunk of their population. Experts said China's vaccine is to blame.

“The Chinese have a responsibility to remedy this,” Jin Dongyan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, told The New York Times.

Dongyan said that if the CoronaVac shot was indeed effective, countries shouldn't be facing new COVID outbreaks today. “If the vaccines are sufficiently good, we should not see this pattern,” the virologist added.

Countries such as Mongolia, Bahrain, and Seychelles were all looking forward to eliminating COVID through their national vaccination programs. The countries largely made use of China's easily accessible CoronaVac vaccine and were hopeful about becoming COVID-free by summer.

Today, however, all three nations are facing the same problem that none of them anticipated -- a new surge in infections.

On Sunday, Mongolia reported 2,400 new infections in the country. This number is said to be four times higher than the average number of COVID cases just a month before, the Hindustan Times reported.

In Seychelles, the number of daily new cases is now more than 716 per million despite having vaccinated almost 72% of its population.

A month after being fully vaccinated with China's Sinopharm vaccine, Otgonjargal Baatar was disappointed when he tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized for nine days. Baatar, as well as many others, are now questioning the usefulness of the shots.

“People were convinced that if we were vaccinated, the summer will be free of Covid,” he said. “Now it turns out that it’s not true.”

Scientists are still unsure why some countries are facing new outbreaks despite having high inoculation rates. Factors such as new virus strains, lenient social controls and careless behavior could all contribute to the breakthrough cases that have been on the rise, according to the experts.

Given the other factors that could possibly be causing the new surge in infections, however, some experts hypothesized that the problem lies in the vaccines themselves. According to them, the millions of doses provided by China may not be very effective in containing the coronavirus, especially in fighting against new strains of the virus.

Taiwan emerged largely unscathed from the pandemic last year but is now battling a sudden coronavirus outbreak Taiwan emerged largely unscathed from the pandemic last year but is now battling a sudden coronavirus outbreak Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh