The reason for the surge in Mongolia, Batbayar said, was that the country reopened too quickly and many people believed they would be protected after just one dose.
“You could say the Mongols celebrated too early,” he said. “My advice is that the celebrations should begin after the vaccinations are complete, so this is the lesson we learned. The trust was too great. “
Some health officials and scientists are less confident.
Nikolai Petrovsky, a professor in the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in Australia, said that, given all the evidence, it was reasonable to assume that the Sinopharm vaccine had minimal impact on containing transmission. A big risk with Chinese vaccination is that people who are vaccinated may have few or no symptoms and still pass the virus on to others, he said.
“I think that complexity has been lost to most decision-makers around the world.”
In Indonesia, where a new variant is spreading, according to the risk reduction team of the Indonesian Medical Association, more than 350 doctors and health care workers have recently contracted Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated with Sinovac. Across the country, 61 doctors died between February and June 7, ten of whom had taken the vaccine made in China, the association said.
The numbers were enough to make Kenneth Mak, Singapore’s director of medical services, question the use of Sinovac. “It’s not a Pfizer-related issue,” said Mr. Mak at a news conference on Friday. “This is actually a problem with the Sinovac vaccine.”
Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were the first two countries to approve the Sinopharm syringe even before the late-stage clinical trial data was released. Since then there have been extensive reports of illnesses among vaccinated people in both countries. In a statement, the Bahraini government’s media bureau said the kingdom’s vaccine rollout has been “efficient and successful to this day.”
Still, officials from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced last month that they would offer a third booster vaccination. The choice: Pfizer or more Sinopharm.
The coverage was contributed by Khaliun Bayartsogt, Andrea Kannapell, Ben Hubbard, Asmaa al-Omar and Muktita Suhartono. Elsie Chen and Claire Fu contributed to the research.