Costa Rica/Beijing – Costa Rica, a small country in Central America, has refused the Chinese vaccine. The concerned officials informed that the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine against Coronavirus, Sinovac, is not satisfactory. Hence, the vaccine should not be supplied. As per the reports, Costa Rica is not the first country to refuse the Chinese vaccine; other countries have also refused to accept the vaccine. This refusal to accept the vaccine by Costa Rica indicates that the Chinese Vaccine Diplomacy is being rocked.
China had claimed to have been the first country to develop the vaccine against the Coronavirus pandemic, originating from Wuhan. China started administering the vaccine to its citizens while foreign companies were still testing the vaccines. After that, the ruling Chinese communist regime announced that China would supply a whopping 800 million vaccine doses to various countries. China even signed agreements with Southeast Asian, Middle East, Latin American and African countries and started supplying vaccines using its political and financial influence.
But subsequent reports started surfacing, doubting the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine. Incidences of the pandemic spreading more rapidly despite administration of the Chinese vaccine were reported from the countries Seychelles from Africa, Bahrain from Gulf and Chile from Latin America. Against this background, the open refusal of a small country like Costa Rica to accept the Chinese vaccine becomes significant. It has been revealed that Costa Rica has passed a resolution to use only those vaccines, having an efficacy of more than 60%. Furthermore, it was revealed that Brazil, the biggest country in Latin America, has also cancelled the Chinese vaccine’s demand.
On the other hand, the southeast Asian neighbours of China also have started refusing the Chinese vaccine and have begun accepting the alternatives. Cambodia, a country under Chinese influence, has decided to receive 1 million doses of the vaccine under the COVAX scheme of the United Nations.
Indonesia, which took the initiative to test and produce the Chinese vaccine, also has started moves to procure vaccines from the United States, Europe and Russia. Vietnam has a dispute with China over the South China Sea, has outright rejected the Chinese vaccine. Even Singapore, having good trade relations with China, has preferred western vaccines. Malaysia and the Philippines are also following their allies’ steps and prefer vaccines other than the Chinese vaccine.
Although the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have not completely rejected the Chinese vaccine, they are already talking with other countries for vaccines. Countries like Sri Lanka and Myanmar have preferred procuring the vaccine from India. Whereas, it has been reported that the African countries have placed their order with the western company, Johnson and Johnson.
With more and more countries looking for an alternative, rejecting the Chinese vaccine delivers severe jolts to the Chinese ‘Vaccine Diplomacy’.