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[뉴스쉽] China’s vaccine exempts quarantine for the first time and quarantines for 3 weeks if going to China… why did this happen

On the 22nd, at the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee of the National Assembly, these questions and answers were exchanged between Rep. Jeong Jin-seok (People’s Power), Unification Minister Lee In-young, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Choi Jong-gun.

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The reason for this question and answer is that from July 1, if you come to Korea after getting a vaccine made in China from China, you will be exempted from self-quarantine, but if you get a vaccine from Korea and go to China, you will have to self-quarantine. .

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It is not just that the government has taken these easing measures by pinpointing China. On June 13, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters received a report on the ‘Reorganization Plan for the Immigration Control System for Overseas Vaccinated Persons’ from the Central Accident Management Headquarters of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and received public attention in earnest while discussing it.

The government explained in this plan as follows:

– There has been a demand for relaxation of entry procedures for overseas nationals and international students who enter Korea after receiving vaccinations from abroad, as the exemption from quarantine does not apply. Therefore, the government plans to reorganize the quarantine exemption system to promote quarantine exemption for those who have completed overseas vaccinations at a similar level to those who have completed domestic vaccinations.

– From July 1, if a person who has completed overseas vaccination applies for exemption from quarantine, it will be reviewed by applying the quarantine exemption criteria for those entering from a country where there is no mutation, such as for important business purposes, academic public interest, and humanitarian purposes. to be.

– In addition, overseas citizens, etc. are additionally recognized as exempt from isolation when they visit their immediate family members (spouse, self and their immediate descendants) residing in Korea.

In order to be recognized as a person who has completed vaccination, it is applied only to those who enter Korea two weeks after inoculating all the recommended number of vaccines in the same country

He added that the conditions suggested would be “limited to those who received an emergency-approved vaccine by the World Health Organization (WHO). Vaccines urgently approved by WHO – Vaccines listed in Emergency Use Listing (EUL) – are as follows.
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According to it, for example, a person who has received the Russian-made Sputnik vaccine will not be exempt from self-quarantine upon entry. This is because the Sputnik vaccine is used not only in Russia but also in parts of Germany, Austria, and other Eastern European countries, but it is not included in the WHO’s emergency approval list. On the other hand, Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are on the WHO emergency approval list.

Even so, people’s minds looking at it cannot be at ease. This is because the WHO has a history of suffering from pro-China controversies for its response that seems to be defending China in the early stages of the spread of Corona, and there are also international doubts about the ineffectiveness of vaccines made in China.

Chinese vaccine… what kind of vaccine

‘Sino-‘ is an English prefix meaning ‘of China’. Sinobac is a Chinese vaccine, and Sinopharm is a Chinese medicine. Sinopharm vaccine was developed by ‘China Biology (CNBG)’ under the China Pharmaceutical Group, a state-owned pharmaceutical company in China. Sinovac vaccine was developed by a company called ‘Beijing Gwaxing Biological Products’. Like Pfizer and AZ vaccine, it came out as a two-dose vaccine.

Sinopharm Vaccine
Sinovac Vaccine

These vaccines are the biggest weapon of China’s ‘Immune Wall’ project. Just as the Great Wall was built to prevent the invasion of nomadic peoples in the north in the old days, it is trying to build a wall of immunity against corona with vaccines developed in their own country. (Corona 19 is widely recognized by the international community that it started in Wuhan, which is inside China. By the way, do you build a Great Wall to block threats that occur within Chinese territory? China originated from outside China and entered China, and the first place of origin Law argues that the United States is suspicious. This perception can also be seen in the naming of ‘immune wall’.)

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna, which use mRNA methods, and AstraZeneca (AZ) and Janssen, which use viral vectors, the vaccines developed by China in-house were developed as a ‘killed vaccine’. A ‘dead vaccine’ is a type of vaccine in which pathogens are inactivated by heat or chemical methods.

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A dead vaccine is also called an inactivated or inactivated vaccine. Since it inactivates a virus or pathogen, it is relatively safe compared to a ‘live vaccine’, and the advantage is that it can be used even for people with weak immunity. ▲ Pneumococcus ▲ Hepatitis A ▲ Hepatitis B ▲ whooping cough ▲ tetanus ▲ other influenza vaccines. Instead, it is known that immunity resulting from inoculation is reduced. Multiple doses may be required to achieve the required level of immune response.

As a result, in countries that have introduced Chinese vaccines because it is difficult to obtain Pfizer-Modena or AstraZeneca vaccines, the spread of COVID-19 is not slowing despite rising vaccination rates.

The New York Times reported on the 22nd (local time) that “they who relied on China’s vaccines are now fighting a rise in new cases.”

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Mongolia promised its people a “corona-free summer”. Bahrain said “return to normal”. The small island nation of Seychelles aims to revive its economy.

All three of these countries believed to some degree in vaccines made in China. Vaccines made in China were easy to obtain, which allowed them to push for a large-scale vaccination program. But these countries are now fighting a surge in infections.

In Chile, Bahrain, Mongolia, and Seychelles, 50% to 68% of the total population completed the second dose. In terms of the vaccination rate alone, it exceeds that of the United States. However, these four countries were included in the 10 countries with the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the past week, according to the New York Times. In the United States, where 45% of the population is vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, new cases have plummeted by 94% in the past six months.

Israel achieved the second highest vaccination rate in the world after Seychelles through Pfizer vaccination. At the time the New York Times wrote this article, Israel’s daily number of new cases per million people is 4.95. On the other hand, in Seychelles, where most of the vaccinations were done with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, the number of new cases per 1 million people reached 716 per day.

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Professor Dong-Yan Jin (金冬雁), a virus expert at the University of Hong Kong, said: “If a vaccine is available enough, this pattern should not appear. China is responsible for resolving this situation.”

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The New York Times reported that “cases in several countries suggest that vaccines made in China are not very effective in preventing the spread of the virus, especially when it comes to mutations.” Nevertheless, health officials in Mongolia and the Seychelles say that “the number of hospitalizations and deaths of seriously ill patients has been greatly reduced thanks to the vaccine made in China,” The New York Times reported. A Mongolian health official said that the number of confirmed cases may have surged because there were too many people who ignored the quarantine rules and acted arbitrarily after only the first dose, rather than the effect of the Chinese vaccine itself was bad.

William Schaffner, medical director (professor at Vanderbilt University) at the National Infectious Diseases Foundation (NFID), a non-profit organization in the United States, said, “Chinese vaccines have a low efficacy rate, so it is difficult to suppress the spread of the disease below a certain level, and the vaccination rate is high. “The population can also cause a significant number of symptomatic patients, even if they don’t usually go to hospitalization,” he said.

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Professor Nikolai Petrovsky of the School of Public Health at Flinders University in Australia said: “Based on the evidence that has been revealed so far, it is reasonable to assume that the Sinopharm vaccine has minimal effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The main risk with vaccination from China is that if a person who receives the vaccine does not show symptoms, it is reasonable. You can also spread the virus to other people.”

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Controversy over 50% effectiveness of Chinese vaccine… The need for a ‘third booster shot’ is raised

China has donated or exported Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines to more than 90 countries. Chinese vaccines are inexpensive and can be stored in standard standard refrigerators. Developing countries, such as Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca (AZ), where Western vaccines were not available, were not in a position to choose between cold and hot meals. Such circumstances may have contributed to the WHO’s emergency use approval. China has been generous with developing countries and has carried out ‘vaccine diplomacy’.

Southeast Asian countries were also targets of China’s vaccine diplomacy. However, in Indonesia, it was reported internationally that about 350 local medical staff who received the Sinovac vaccine were diagnosed with COVID-19 in a pile. Many of them were asymptomatic, but dozens had to be hospitalized due to high fever and low blood oxygen saturation. Controversy over the effectiveness of vaccines made in China is a natural result.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) in Hong Kong reported on the 18th that researchers at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health tracked the antibody-forming response of 1,000 people who received either Pfizer or Sinovac, and found that those who received the Pfizer vaccine had significantly higher levels of antibody. did. Benjamin Cowling, professor of epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong, said some people who have received the Chinese cynovac vaccine may need a third booster dose, the so-called booster shot. This means that the usual two doses of inoculation may not be able to elicit sufficient immune effects. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were among the first countries to introduce the Sinopharm vaccine. In these countries, there has also been a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases among those who have been vaccinated. Last month, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates issued recommendations for a third dose (a booster shot).

It is not new to point out that Chinese vaccines may have limited efficacy. At the time of emergency approval, the WHO said that the synovac vaccine was shown to prevent symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevent severe coronavirus and hospitalization in 100% of study subjects. In phase 3 clinical trials, the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine was reported to be 95% and that of the Synovac vaccine was reported to be 50.7%. From the WHO’s point of view, even if the performance of a vaccine made in China is not completely satisfactory, it would have been forced to think about the medical reality of developing countries around the world, where there must be something immediately.

China-made vaccine amid controversy, was President Xi Jinping right? ?

Which country in the world has the most vaccines from China? Of course it is China.

China is not introducing Western vaccines such as Pfizer-Modern or AZ, and is conducting large-scale inoculation with its own vaccines. The National Health Commission of China announced on the 19th that the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine vaccinations in mainland China recorded 1.10 billion. China expects to achieve its goal of getting 70% of the population vaccinated by the end of this year. Vaccination rates are higher in Beijing, the capital city of the Chinese Communist Party leadership. China’s state-run Global Times reported that 80% of Beijing’s population has been vaccinated, and the 80% vaccination rate is sufficient to secure herd immunity.

Experts in China do not appear to be unaware of the limitations of the Sinopharm-Sinovac vaccine. In an interview with China Central Television on the 21st, Xiao Yiming, a researcher at the CDC in China, said, “Considering that the vaccine’s immune efficacy is 100%, the minimum vaccination standard for achieving herd immunity is 66% of the population, but the vaccine in use in China is He emphasized, “If you think that the Chinese population is about 1.4 billion, at least 1 billion or more will need to be vaccinated,” he said.

How is the Corona situation in China, which is spurring domestic vaccinations? Unlike the cases of other developing countries introduced earlier, it seems that the control of COVID-19 is relatively good in China. In any case, it seems to be a combined effect of the fact that the vaccination was pushed in large numbers and quickly, that the inflow from abroad was strongly controlled, and that quarantine measures such as tracking and isolation were thoroughly implemented in case of an outbreak.

In major regions in China, such as Beijing, they are currently active without a mask and are free to move around. However, since it is a very large country, the number of confirmed cases often increases locally, and some areas are blocked or quarantine measures are strengthened sporadically. A recently known case is the case of Guangzhou in the middle of this month.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province, which has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) in China, and is a center of trade and industry close to Hong Kong, where more than 150 corona19 confirmed cases occurred in the middle of this month. Chen Bin, vice-chairman and spokesperson of the Guangzhou Sanitation and Health Committee, said in an interview with Chinese media on June 15, “From May 21 to 00:00 today, 147 cumulative COVID-19 cases were reported. Of these, 140 were confirmed, and the remaining 7 were asymptomatic.” said In May, a mutant virus from India, which has strong contagious power, came in. In June, there were infections every day, and as a result, 14 cities in Guangzhou were blocked and 32 tourist attractions were closed.

Interestingly, although there are articles that Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged vaccination in his country, we cannot find any reports that he had received the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine. Chinese authorities are not planning to disclose the health status of the supreme leader or whether he has been vaccinated because it is a top secret. As a result, it is said that the saying, ‘President Xi must have been Pfizer’ is joking around in the market.

Considering these circumstances, it is quite reasonable for our health authorities not to inoculate Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. Nevertheless, China is proud that South Korea was the first in the world to exempt Chinese vaccinated persons from quarantine upon entry, which is an expression of trust in Chinese vaccines.

“Korea’s confidence in China’s vaccine”…China self-proclaimed

China’s state-run Global Times reported on the 15th that “Korea became the first country to exempt quarantine for those vaccinated from China” and “Korea has confidence in Chinese vaccines.”

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According to a report by SBS Beijing correspondent Kim Ji-sung, China proposed ‘vaccine mutual authentication’ through the Korean embassy in China. The purpose is to guarantee mutual free travel for vaccinated persons in China and Korea, which includes ‘visa issuance’ and ‘entry permit’, but ‘isolation exemption’ is a separate issue. Mutual authentication will make it easier to issue Chinese visas and allow entry to China for those who have been vaccinated in Korea, but China’s position is that they must be quarantined when they come to China. Furthermore, China is still in a position to grant such recognition only to those vaccinated from China. What was China’s intention in making this proposal? The real intention is interpreted to mean “Korea should introduce a Chinese vaccine as soon as possible.”

▶ [월드리포트] China self-proclaims “Korea trusts China-made vaccines”

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The three-week quarantine upon arrival in China also applies to those who have completed vaccinations in China. For example, if a Korean expatriate has completed vaccinations with Sinovac and Sinopharm in China and returned to China after coming to Korea to meet their family, this means that they must be quarantined for three weeks.

There are also prospects that China’s quarantine measures could be strengthened. It is said that for the time being ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on July 1st and the Beijing Winter Olympics in February next year, there is no choice but to be very careful.

In this situation, there may not be many people who want to go to China from Korea. However, reciprocity in affairs between countries [reciprocity, 相互主義] is a basic principle of diplomacy. Establishing diplomatic missions in other countries, expelling diplomats when there is a problem in bilateral relations, and exchanging interests or treatment of the same value in economic relations are all based on reciprocity. It is not unreasonable to criticize public opinion that it is ‘unfair’.

The South Korean government responded to this by saying, ‘If we insist on reciprocity, our people in China will have a hard time coming to Korea and suffer damage’ and ‘There is the same problem of reciprocity in Australia, Singapore, and Japan (even if they were vaccinated in Korea, the problem of reciprocity is the same. If you go to other countries, you must isolate them),’ and ask for the public’s understanding. However, people coming from Australia, Singapore, Japan, etc. do not come with a vaccine made in China. The mandatory quarantine for Koreans and expatriates returning to Korea after completing vaccinations in China also needs to be relaxed. Asking people visiting Korea to quarantine for three weeks even though they have received the only vaccine made in China they admit is different from saying that China still does not believe in Korea’s quarantine situation.

If so, will there be no more Chinese tourists coming to Korea after July? There’s a good chance that won’t happen. The quarantine authorities are emphasizing that self-isolation is only exempted in certain cases (office/business/family visits in Korea, etc.), even if vaccination has been completed in China. The general Chinese tourists do not fall into this category.

Some view that the practical factors preventing regular Chinese from visiting Korea are the three-week quarantine upon returning to China and the problem of air tickets. Flights to and from Korea from Beijing in early July are about once a week, and most flights take 6 to 9 hours via Dalian or Shenyang, and the cost is around 1.3 million won even if you choose a Chinese airline. are searched for Under this circumstance, it can be expected that there will be few Chinese ordinary people to visit Korea.

(Composition: Senior Correspondent Lee Hyun-sik, Reporter Jang Seon-i, Kim Hwi-ran Editor / Designer: Myung Ha-eun, Lee Ji-soo)

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