•   Tuesday, 28 Mar, 2023

China should import mRNA immunizations to control flood in Coronavirus related passings: US wellbeing specialists

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Epidemiologists assert that foreign immunizations and antiviral medications are essential for limiting deaths as Beijing abandons zero-Covid. China can anticipate up to 500,000 passings.

China has no choice but to import mRNA vaccines and antiviral medications in the hope of curbing the surge in COVID-19-related deaths, South China Morning Post reported quoting two US-based experts. The surge in COVID-19 infections in China has been catastrophic as hospitals are reportedly working on maximum occupancy and numerous deaths have been reported during the last week. The Chinese government recently withdrew its zero-COVID policy after massive protests from citizens who were being forced to quarantine and get tested earlier.

Without lockdowns or other mitigation measures, and in the absence of mRNA vaccines, China can expect as many as 500,000 COVID-related deaths by April of next year, said Ali Mokdad, a professor at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. He said that the number could be cut in half if Chinese authorities enforce proper masking and introduce lockdowns where hospitals are filled beyond 80 percent of capacity and adopt full transparency on the number of local infections. 'Ninety-eight percent of Americans have been infected at least once with COVID-19, and this will happen in China, but it's going to happen in a shorter time,' said Mokdad, a former senior epidemiologist with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. 'The fact that it's going to happen in a relatively shorter time means it will overwhelm the medical system and a lot of deaths will happen,' he added.

Are mRNA vaccines superior to Chinese vaccines?

With less stringent containment measures and higher vaccination rates, mostly with mRNA vaccines, the US and many other countries have contended with multiple waves of COVID-19 infections since the pandemic started nearly three years ago. While vaccines approved for use in China are not as effective as the mRNA varieties used in the US and elsewhere, they are effective enough to prevent hospitalisation and death in most cases, Mokdad said. He called on Chinese health authorities to arrange to import thses mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as antiviral medications such as Pfizer's Paxlovid, which are the most effective tools for limiting mortality, reported SCMP.