In China, the Vaccine Administration Law and Pharmaceutical Administration Law allow for vaccines to be authorized for emergency use. But the question is whether the current situation justifies the emergency use of experimental vaccines. There are few confirmed cases in the country. The director of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) was right when he said there was not an urgent need for mass vaccination in China. And there are other concerns. For example, is it ethical to administer the experimental vaccines on perfectly healthy populations? The people might be asked to sign an agreement before receiving the vaccine, but apparently the agreements do not specify or highlight the potential risks involved.
And finally, there is a potential risk of severe symptoms due to the problem of antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). When you administer the vaccines on a perfectly healthy person, an ADE process would result in suboptimal antibodies actually facilitating the viral infection of immune cells and the replication of the virus.
Phase 3 clinical trials are taking place overseas. Sinopharm works with the UAE, Peru, Morocco and Jordan. Sinovac is working with Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh. CanSino is working with Pakistan, Mexico, and Russia. Most of these partners are developing countries with a very large population. Chinese vaccine makers are strategic in picking the countries to work with. They picked the UAE, for example, not because it has a large number of cases, but because there is a large pool of foreign labor force from 125 countries, so if the vaccine works there they can claim its effective use in the entire world. But when SinoVac picked Brazil as a partner for phase 3 trials, it did not realize that it could become a victim of domestic political tensions. It is said that the recent spat over the use of Chinese-made vaccines in the country has more to do with politics than health policy.