He got a coronavirus vaccine in China, but had to keep it secret. Why? OCT. 29, 2020 1:30 AM | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

He got a coronavirus vaccine in China, but had to keep it secret. Why? OCT. 29, 2020 1:30 AM

BEIJING — The oil company worker wondered why he had to keep his vaccination a secret. Questions raced through his head as he read the confidentiality agreement, which threatened he would be disciplined if he told anyone outside company management about the COVID-19 shot he was waiting to get.
What if something went wrong? Who would take responsibility? The worker knew the vaccine maker, China National Biotec Group — part of the state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm — was conducting trials of this vaccine on hundreds of thousands of volunteers in the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Morocco and other countries.

“At least they’re in a monitored, controlled situation,” he said of those trials, watching as hundreds of his co-workers lined up around him to get their injection at a clinic in Beijing. “But for us, they can’t make any guarantees. This is us making a sacrifice for the nation.”

The employee — who did not give his name for fear of reprisal — is one of hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens who have received COVID-19 vaccines before they have been proved safe in clinical trials. China’s military began getting vaccinations in June. Medical workers and employees of state-owned companies working abroad were soon included in an “emergency use” program. In September, a China National Biotec executive said 350,000 people outside clinical trials had already received the vaccine.

Early vaccinations of high-profile people have become a way to show trust in China’s medical system after a 2018 scandal in which children were exposed to faulty vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus.

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