French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday warned of the lack of information about China’s coronavirus vaccines, saying they could even encourage the development of variants if they aren’t effective.
Speaking to the Atlantic Council think tank, Macron admitted that China’s early “diplomatic successes” in distributing vaccines to other countries could be viewed as “a little humiliating to us as (Western) leaders”.
He warned, however, that the effectiveness of a sting by Sinopharma or Sinovac was unknown because “absolutely no information” had been exchanged about studies.
“This means that in the medium to long term it is almost certain that if this vaccine is not suitable, it will facilitate the emergence of new variants and absolutely not improve the situation in these countries,” he said.
His comment came a day after European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen asked Russia and China to “provide all the data” if they want their vaccines to be approved in the European Union.
Last Friday, Macron also questioned a vaccine by the British-Swedish group AztraZeneca, which did not appear to be effective for people over 65 years of age – despite European regulators approving it for adults of all ages.
Dismay reigned in France after the country’s leading pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, and its leading research center, the Pasteur Institute, suffered setbacks in efforts to develop a vaccine.
In the search for vaccines against Covid-19, nations competed to develop and distribute shocks to other countries to increase their diplomatic and economic clout, as well as their prestige.
Hungary and Serbia will use the Sinopharm vaccine in Europe while Beijing is also donating or selling to countries around the world from Pakistan to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and West African countries.
Macron advocated a west-led multilateral approach, believing that “we can be more efficient in the long run”.
The French leader also urged the US-led NATO military alliance, which had historically focused on defending against Russia, to discuss “how to deal with new Pacific issues”, which China meant.
“This is a question. This is the elephant in the room. We have to be very clear on this issue. My readiness is a political approach because I want a stable and peaceful world,” he said.
China was the source of the coronavirus pandemic after a novel strain of coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)