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AstraZeneca in Partnership with King of Vaccines in China Despite Previous Scandals

UTC by John K. Kumi · 3 min read
AstraZeneca in Partnership with King of Vaccines in China Despite Previous Scandals
Photo: Depositphotos

Moreover, the world’s largest producer of vaccines by volume, Serum Institute of India requested authorization for emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country. 

The Chinese King of Vaccines has been able to secure a deal to manufacture the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in mainland China despite being linked to many scandals. AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) has been said to prioritize efficacy, quality, and safety as they seek to ensure equitable global access to its vaccine at no profit.

Concerning the speculations that they have partnered with a company with many scandals in the past, AstraZeneca confirmed that they do due diligence before engaging in any deal with any entity. 

Du Weimin, the Chairman of the Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Product and one of the richest men in China, was previously accused of paying $44,000 cash to an official to hurriedly get his vaccine approved. The vaccine was approved after a few months. However, authorities discovered the illegal exchange of money to get the vaccine approved, making the government official to be sentenced to jail in 2016. Surprisingly, Mr. Du was never charged.

He made millions of dollars in revenue and established his empire that came out with the “King of Vaccines”. Not just that, Kangtai became the center of discussion in 2013 after 17 kids died after being injected with a Hepatitis B vaccine developed by the company. Not much different from the results of the other scandals, the company was cleared with no proper details after investigation. 

A senior fellow for global health at the council on foreign relations Yanzhong Huang raised the concern that another scandal in China or elsewhere will not just hurt the reputation of Kangtai alone, but also, that of AstraZeneca. Mr. Du has always maintained that vaccines for people should be in the hands of the Chinese. He has always questioned the government on ordering vaccines from foreign countries as they are mostly expensive and pose danger to national security.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been petitioned to be used by several countries following recent announcements and decisions by governments to start the mass injection. Recently, the world’s largest producer of vaccines by Volume, Serum Institute of India requested authorization for emergency use of the vaccine in the country. 

Citing unmet medical needs as an excuse, the company has requested the Drugs Controller General of India to make the rightful decision in the interest of the public. The pandemic has killed over 1.5 billion globally with India being one of the worst-hit countries. 

According to Serum, clinical studies conducted in the UK, India, and Brazil have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the vaccine is very effective against the virus. Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) has also petitioned the Indian authorities to permit them to deliver their vaccines to the country. AstraZeneca has been facing much improvement with revenues expected to rise, the same as the price of its stocks. Morgan Stanley has therefore upgraded its prediction from equal-weight to overweight due to deterioration in vaccine sentiment and other factors.

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