After the World Health Organization authorized the emergency use of Sinopharm, a COVID-19 vaccine produced in China, several US universities have recognized the jab’s validity, Chinese government-run Global Times reported.
The article mentions seven schools: Harvard University, Columbia University, New York University (NYU), Yale University, Dartmouth College, the University of Rochester (UR), and Lafayette College. Of these, NYU and Yale specifically mention Sinopharm on their website, while Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, and UR note they accept emergency use vaccines. Lafayette College does not mention Sinopharm or emergency use vaccines.
Global Times further reported that the Chinese Consulate General in New York issued a notice stating that Chinese students vaccinated with Sinopharm do not need to be inoculated again in the US when they arrive at any of these campuses.
CEO Liu Shuangtao of Perfecting Education, an educational consulting agency, predicted to Global Times that other colleges and universities will follow the steps of top schools. “Their [US universities] recognition of Chinese vaccines can remove one of the major concerns for Chinese students going to study in the country amid the pandemic,” he said.
Sinopharm is a Chinese state-owned company that developed an inactivated vaccine to combat COVID-19. On December 30, the company released the vaccine’s phase three results, showing it was 79 percent effective.
However, controversies have mounted. The Seychelles, cited as the world’s most vaccinated nation, has seen a surge in COVID cases despite most of its citizens being inoculated with Sinopharm.
The New York Times reported that scientists have warned developing nations that have been using the Chinese vaccine because of the jab’s “relatively weaker efficacy rates” as compared to Pfizer or Moderna.
“You really need to use high-efficacy vaccines to get that economic benefit because otherwise they’re going to be living with the disease long term. The choice of vaccine matters,” Raina MacIntyre, the biosecurity program head of the University of New South Wales Kirby Institute, told the newspaper.